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In spirituality and personal development, including groups such as Theosophy, an affirmation is a form of autosuggestion in which a statement of a desirable intention or condition of the world or the mind is deliberately meditated on or repeated in order to implant it in the mind. Affirmation could be viewed positively as a mobilization of one's inner resources, or negatively as a kind of self-induced brainwashing. Believers advise a general approach to self-improving statements; for instance, "I am making more room in my life for success every day" is considered a much wiser affirmation than "I will win the lottery today!" Affirmations are supposedly an effective method of programming or reprogramming the unconscious mind. They appear to be most effective when repeated in a quiet and restful state of mind and body. Other groups which use affirmations and "decrees", a related activity, include Church Universal and Triumphant, and the I AM Activity, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Perhaps the most often used and well-known affirmation is the word "Amen," which can be translated simply, "so be it," affirming the truth of whatever was written or said immediately prior. While often used to conclude prayer, the word itself is neutral as to its context and exemplifies a logical affirmation more than a spiritual one.
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- This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
Emotionally, an affirmation is a statement or observation about an individual that seeks to emphasize positive qualities or characteristics. To affirm someone is to tell them what good traits they exhibit in order to express good faith or a spirit of cooperation or unity.