Body image encircles more then just appearance. It encompasses more then the possible shrewdness of how others individualize us. Body image, at its core, embodies an array of dynamic origins. How we think, feel, act and react to our own self-perceived physical attributes are all tiny fragments in the unabridged explanation of body image. The journey and commitment to nurturing our being must begin with the commitment to reinforce positivity. New research confirms that enhancements in self-talk and body image can help foster improvements in various areas; weight maintenance or reduction. Psychological and behavior disorders have also been validated. Consequently, individuals who embrace positive body image, live leaner, healthier, and happier lifestyles.
Foster your truest and greatest self by offering acceptance. Open your heart to the possibility of liberation from your negative self-talk. Cultivate compassion, acceptance, love and openness for yourself and others. Establish intentions to the following ideas.
- Be positive, first and foremost. Whenever you look in the mirror, make it a point to focus on the positive features and give yourself at least one compliment (try to inspire a new compliment each time). Remember to be kind to yourself whenever possible…and freely, it is always possible!
- Let go of perfection. Perfectionism is useless. Being flawless is boring and by holding onto a “perfect ideal” you are holding open space for disappointment and or failure. Instead, understand that imperfections enable and empower individuality. Imperfections mark natural authenticity, and that is the truest and purest beauty. Be uniquely you.
- Stop judging others. Treat others how you want to be treated. Drop your insecurities. Do not feed negativity, only spread positive light. Acknowledge that everyone is fighting his or her own battle. Offer compliments to others, and spread good karma.
- Offer gratitude for all that your body can do. Recognize that every day your body carries you closer to your aspirations. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you: walking, running, dancing, breathing, laughing, loving, etc.
- Do something kind for yourself. Do something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Healthful generosity is always welcome. Take a salt bath, make time for a nap, hire a personal trainer, do yoga, engage in enjoyable activities outdoors. Find a peaceful place outside or inside to unwind.
- Honor beyond the image. Remind yourself that “true beauty” resides beyond the skin. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you illuminate with confidence, self-acceptance and openness. Remember beauty resides in state of mind, not exclusively in state of body.
- Stop listening to the negative banter. Re-affirm any negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to shift back into negative thinking, re-affirm yourself. A great tool, and one I often inspire clients to use, is the “I AM” mantra. Use your breath to help you re-affirm. On the inhalation quietly affirm (say to yourself mindfully) “I AM”. On the exhalation affirm what it is that you wish to kindle or aspire to believe. An example: on the inhalation, “I AM”- on the exhalation, “Resilient and Beautiful”.
Thus, may the journey to nurturing your utmost positive being begin today! Originate today by loving yourself, taking care of yourself, and honoring your mind, body and spirit.