You’ve probably heard of affirmations, but have you ever considered applying these simple yet surprisingly powerful tools to support your plant-based dietary habits? Affirmations don’t cost anything, you don’t need any special certifications, training or equipment, and you can do them anywhere and anytime you are awake! (Actually, you can even record affirmations to play during sleep, so there’s truly no time of day or night you can’t use them!)
You have nothing to lose in trying plant-based affirmations except your negative thinking and old, outworn habits. Let’s take a closer look at what affirmations are and how to best create and apply them to maximize their effectiveness on your plant-based journey to health and wellbeing.
Creating and Using Plant-Based Affirmations
The word “affirmation” comes from the Latin word “affirmare,” which means to strengthen or to hold steady –exactly what plant-based eaters, especially beginners transitioning to a plant-based diet or those particularly vulnerable to food temptations and cravings, need in themselves and in their lives.
Affirmations are simple, clear and deliberately-worded positive statements that are stated with confidence and strong intention on a regular basis. How you do that is up to you. Some people like to set regular times each day to say their affirmations all at once, such as upon waking to create a positive template for the day and before going to bed, to set the tone for a restful and positive sleep.
Alternatively, you can post your affirmations around your home, car, and workspace where you can easily see them as well as on your phone and computer (they make great screen savers) so you’re reminded of them randomly throughout the day. If you’re alone, it’s good to say affirmations aloud or even sing and dance them to bring them into your body.
If you’re around other people you can say them internally to yourself on a regular basis and especially during stressful moments – such as at holiday parties when you’re tempted by unhealthy foods. You can draw on your familiar affirmations at those times you when you might otherwise waver or falter on your plant-based diet.
Why Plant-Based Affirmations Work
What makes words so potentially powerful? Affirmations work because our minds actually can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality. When we affirm the reality we want to see, we keep ourselves on track to a more positive future. Again, and again we return our focus and attention to what we do want and away from what we don’t.
We practice affirmations as we would practice yoga, meditation, journaling, deep breathing or any other type of self-care approach, in this case retraining our minds into a new, more uplifted set of beliefs that align with our highest plant-based vision for ourselves.
What we believe affects every aspect of our lives, from how we perceive ourselves, other people and events to our reactions and daily habits – including, of course, how, when and what we eat. If we practice affirmations regularly, they help us day by day form new habits of positive thinking and feeling and ultimately new behaviors – keeping our minds, bodies and spirits on the plant-based track to health and happiness.
Don’t expect instant results. Just like exercise, affirmations have a gradual, cumulative effect as we build our positive outlook “muscles.” Be sure to give affirmations enough time that they have a chance to work in your life.
Tips for Plant-Based Success
It can be challenging at first. Your mind may balk at positive statements that initially seem so outlandish, so unrealistic and at odds with the reality you are currently experiencing. One way to deal with this is to calibrate your affirmations as you progress. Just like setting small, realistic, achievable goals, we want to create affirmations that are just a little bit ahead of where we are – we want to stretch, not strain.
Choose affirmations that are at least somewhat believable to you, rather than statements that seem so out of reach they seem comical. So, in other words, if you’re currently eating a lot of junk foods, you can create appropriate affirmations such as “I am eating more healthfully,” or get more specific with something like, “I eat green salads twice a week.” As they say, start where you are.
Affirmations are always positive, stated in terms of what we want, rather than what we don’t want, because according to Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a method of personal development, the mind doesn’t understand negatives. (You can test this for yourself: Don’t think of a red apple and see what happens.) Effective plant-based affirmations describe the situation that we want as already happening at present. “I am a happy whole food plant-based eater” or “I am in great health,” for instance, are positive affirmations stated powerfully in the now.
Stay away from affirmations in the negative, such as “I am not overweight.” The brain can’t process the negative in the way you are consciously intending so you will inadvertently be directing your attention toward what you don’t want. Stating things in terms of your desires, such as “I want to be in shape,” on the other hand, restates your goal but doesn’t move you forward as effectively as the earlier examples.
Basic Plant-Based Affirmation to Get You Going
Of course, you’ll want to tailor your affirmation to your specific needs and goals, and you’ll want to adjust them to keep up with your progress, setting new goals and new affirmations to support them. But to help you get the feel of it, here’s a list of basic plant-based affirmations that could apply to just about anyone.
As you’ll see, there’s different ways of saying the same thing and you want to choose language that feels comfortable and natural for you. Feel free to modify these affirmations so they work for you!
- I am thriving on a plant-based diet.
- I have everything I need to succeed.
- I love my whole food plant-based diet.
- Plant-based eating is easy and fun.
- I eat more and more healthfully each week.
- I give my body the foods it needs for health.
- I can do this!
- I am strong and steady in my resolve.
- I achieve my plant-based health goals.
- Today I am successfully eating plant-based.
- Today I am turning my life around with healthy eating.
Plant-Based Affirmation Checklist
- Create affirmations that are positive and in the now.
- Practice affirmations regularly.
- Post affirmations where you can easily see them.
- Use language that is natural to you.
- Make them believable.
- Modify affirmations as you progress to keep on growing.
- Keep it simple.
- Be kind to yourself!
I hope you’ve found this exploration of plant-based affirmations useful. For more information about helpful attitudes, tools and techniques to support your ongoing plant-based success please check out these articles: “Go for Plant-Based Progress, Not Perfection,” “The Secret to Success on a Plant-Based Diet,” “Seven Tips for Sticking with a Plant-Based Diet,” and “Staying Motivated on a Plant-Based Diet.”