Mirror work is something I learned from Louise Hay, and simply put it’s the act of engaging in positive self-talk, out loud, while looking at yourself in the mirror. More specifically, the positive self-talk takes the form of positive affirmations, and your best results come from making eye contact.

It can be very uncomfortable at first, but it’s one of the best self-love techniques for building self-confidence that exists.

Mirror Work 101 | Uncustomary

Positive affirmations are effective on their own when you write them down, repeat them out loud, or read them as reminders on a regular basis, but mirror work takes positive affirmations to the next level because you get to face yourself as you’re saying the thing that may be difficult for you to believe still. You get an immediate visual on how your body reacts to hearing these words. Basically, we can’t hide from ourselves in the mirror.

Benefits Of Mirror Work

  • Free
  • Quick
  • Easy to repeat
  • Able to do it alone
  • All you need is a mirror and a positive attitude
  • Builds self-confidence
  • Gain body positivity and become more aware of your connection to your body and thoughts

How Do You Start Mirror Work?

  • Make a list of positive affirmations that you want to start working with
  • Pick a private place with a mirror
  • Look at yourself, make eye contact
  • Take a big deep breath in, then out
  • Say the positive affirmation out loud while looking at yourself
  • Repeat your affirmation at least five times while maintaining eye contact, and notice how your body and face are reacting, as well as any emotions that are coming up for you
  • Take another big deep breath in and out
  • Say, “I love you” to yourself in the mirror at least three times to close out your session
  • Go to a place where you can document your experience/journal. Write down what affirmation(s) you used, how comfortable you felt at the beginning and at the end, how long you worked for, etc.
  • Repeat every day. Twice for best effects. Try to work for five minutes (set a timer!)

Mirror Work 101 | Uncustomary

Tips For Mirror Work

  • Try adding your name into the affirmation, so you’re addressing yourself
  • Figure out the best time of day to do this, so you’re likely to actually do it daily (maybe it can be a part of your Magical Morning Ritual or Nightly Routine)
  • If you’re not sure where to start with positive affirmations, you can list out things you like about yourself or you know you’re good at; worst case just go with “I love myself”
  • Try smiling while you’re saying the affirmations, or at least in between speaking
  • Try sprucing up your mirror with stickers, sticky notes, notes in dry erase marker or lipstick, etc.
  • Try mirror work wearing no make-up, so you’re completely bare and vulnerable with no extra mask/layers (bonus points if you’re totally nude)
  • Kiss the mirror at the end of your session
  • Feel free to add other elements to this ritual, like putting on an ointment, getting dressed, putting on lipstick, lighting a candle or incense, etc. beforehand
  • Take mirror work to the next level and gaze into the mirror at your naked body for a whole minute before you get into the shower (bonus points if you say out loud why you love your body) or dance freely in front of a mirror
  • Get yourself a copy of Mirror Work: 21 Days To Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
  • Talking to yourself in the mirror isn’t insane

I made an awesome worksheet to plan out your mirror work rituals, including a log for documenting your experiences for my Uncustomary Babe membership group. If you’d like access to those worksheets and a ton of other resources, check out the sign-up page!

I would like to offer you a free download of 25 self-love themed positive affirmations that you can use to get started if you’re not sure where to start or are having writer’s block with that part! FYI, in my membership group, I release five new affirmations every week (and they come as beautiful graphics that you can share on social media). We’re over 150+ in the archives, and when you join you get immediate access to them plus all the other resources! Serious bang for your buck at $5 a month!


Have you ever tried mirror work? What has been your experience?

Photos: Maura Housley