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Highlights | Where positivity meets productivity

  • Negative self-talk can block your inner ally from supporting you.
  • The use of positive affirmations is a great way to shift your mindset around your capabilities.
  • When incorporated at the start of your day, positive affirmations can set you up for success and help you practice more self-compassion.

In our series, One Fun Thing, we’re collaborating with Anne Browning, PhD, associate dean for Well-Being at the UW School of Medicine, to bring you small, specific and low-effort ways to have more fun, plus a question to help you check in with yourself and others, and well-being resources.

When thinking about the concept of springtime, it’s common to imagine a season of sunshine, newfound organization, and intentionality around how the days are spent. 

Although we know, especially in the Pacific Northwest, our expectations of spring are not always reality — the promised sunshine is often rain and the items on our spring-cleaning list might not get checked off.

Even though we can’t control the weather and might decide not to prioritize the cleaning list, a mental refresh might just be what’s in order. Incorporating a positive self-talk practice can be a great way to add a little warmth to daily tasks. 

One fun thing: Affirmations for a better workday

Positive affirmations are a science-backed practice that disrupt the brain’s process of following negative thought pathways and help reinforce positive beliefs and thought patterns.

“I like the idea of noticing whether you have a strong inner ally or inner adversary who comes out when things get tough,” says Anne Browning, PhD, associate dean for Well-Being at the UW School of Medicine.

To lean into that inner ally, try these positive affirmation formulas for a better day. 


  • Take a moment to identify a specific aspect of your work that you’d like to focus on or get done that day 
  • Create 2-3 short positive statements that affirm or center on what you need to do to achieve that work 
  • Write down or meditate on these statements, and revisit them throughout the day

If you’re still not sure where to start, Browning recommends trying these guided exercises to help with the practice. Try the General Self Compassion exercise for a quick, five-minute practice, or the Compassionate Body Scan when you have time for a longer break. 

Question of the month

A way to check in with each other and ourselves. Use this question to connect with co-workers at your next meeting, to start a conversation around the dinner table or as a journal prompt. 

Which areas of your work can you introduce more self-compassion, where are you thriving and how might affirmations help reinforce your goals?