Self-Talk And Body Positive Habits: 5 Tips
A body-positive habit is rooted in focusing attention on yourself and the belief that all people matter – including you. Incorporating self-talk into your daily routine is vital towards making changes for a more positive outlook.
Here’s how you can put that mindset into action and shield yourself from harmful, mean-spirited criticism.
SEE ALSO: 12 Steps To Building Self-Esteem
1) Own what’s yours
Indeed, shaming messages are out there, lurking about where you least suspect to find them.
“Shame comes about from repeatedly being told, not that we did something bad, but that we are something bad,” says Psychology Today contributor and anger management expert Bernard Golden, Ph.D. “Consequently, it can close us off from accepting any form of positive regard from others or ourselves.”
Turn the shaming back on itself. Do not internalize and reinforce it. Instead, counteract those sabotaging messages with at least two positive messages for every negative one you’ve internalized. Over the years, you’ve likely received all sorts of negative reinforcement from many different sources in your life – employers, teachers, peers. They’ve heaped all of their own garbage on you and you didn’t respond. You likely froze, listened, and felt ashamed.
Now you have options.
2) Write it down
Use a notepad to jot down the positive messages you need to read. For example, “I am capable,” “I deserve love,” “My body is beautiful,” “My skin is smooth and soft,” or whatever you need to hear or internalize. Place them where you know you’ll see them all the time, i.e., inside a cupboard, on the fridge, on your bedroom door — you get the idea. Repeating and reminding yourself of these positive qualities will boost your mental health and arm you with the tools you need to accept yourself no matter what anyone says.
3) Self-worth is not a number
A common target of body-shaming is weight, being either overweight or underweight. Unfortunately, we gauge our results by what some chart tells us we should be which can be damaging to our self-worth.
“In order for you to lead others, you have to first be comfortable who you see in the mirror,” says author and mindfulness maven Devin C. Hughes. “If self-talk is negative, reflecting back the criticism you feel from others, you will automatically impose self-limitations that may take years to overcome.”
If you vowed to never again tolerate negative remarks from others about your body or yourself in any way, creating a new sense of self can be a little overwhelming at first. Change is a process and one you don’t have to go through alone. Welcome support from friends and family who will help you stay focused on your goals.
4) Love yourself unconditionally
The goal is to be kind and compassionate and to love unconditionally. You want to become more assertive and make solid decisions on creating a positive image for yourself. You can reinforce these goals by taking care of yourself physically as well as mentally. Take a long, hot bubble bath with candles or treat yourself to a massage. Buy yourself a dress you feel great in or go for a long walk in nature.
“This is what’s known as Atma Prema in Ancient Hindu philosophy,” says Misha Lovell, a Montreal-based yoga instructor and freelance writer for Close by Me. “It is a love of the essence of self that transcends the ego-self, allowing us to connect with our true nature.”
Change what you can and treat yourself with kindness, as you would a good friend. Practice mindfulness with every decision you make and don’t ever be too hard on yourself!
“Don’t measure yourself with someone else’s ruler,” says Lovell. “Be confident in the assertive person you’ve unearthed within you.”
5) Practice and Make it a Habit
A body-positive mindset starts by recognizing we’re all the same yet different, that we’re all individuals with unique properties and capabilities. Regardless of age, size, or shape, we are all worthy. Take time to get to know yourself and smile when you pass a mirror.
Praise yourself, create your own mantra to meditate on, and repeat as necessary.
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