Several posts ago, I wrote about self-affirmations, both positive and negative, and how they can be helpful (or harmful) in recovery. Replacing negative self-affirmations with the positive ones take a conscious effort, especially at the start. They may sound strange at first and you may not even believe any of the positive affirmations you find and repeat for a little while. However, just like how the bad affirmations didn’t become an ingrained in your personal belief system over night, the positive ones will too take time.
Earlier this week, I decided to ‘branch-off’ with my affirmation formations with dedicating more of a focus on Body image affirmations. It’s no shocker that people with eating disorders exhibit many signs of embracing a very negative body image similar to exhibiting signs of severe negative self-image. Self-affirmations help us to feel better about ourselves; body image affirmations help us to feel better about our bodies. The list below are the body image affirmations I have formed thus far. I challenge and encourage you to try and come up with your own.
Body Image Affirmations
- I will avoid being self-critical when looking in the mirror
- I will celebrate a positive body feature daily
- I will compliment myself on clothing that fits me well and not what size they are
- I will celebrate three positive qualities about myself daily and repeat them three times each.
- I will nurture my body with good nutrition, relaxation, and stress reduction.
- I will develop coping strategies when I feel susceptible to negative body image thoughts.
- I will develop critical thinking skills toward media messages
- I will practice experiencing people for who they are and not what they look like.
And I will reiterate, jotting down and brainstorming a handful of affirmations is only part of the process; in order for them to have a positive, long-lasting effect, you need to revisit, repeat, and think about them often. Also, substituting the bad ones for the good ones when you become aware that you are replaying the negative is something that further the success they can have.
And yes, at times I feel these types of exercises are corny, perhaps you might think they are corny as well. I also sometimes think that doing these things feels unnatural and strange. Though I’ll admit, they gradually have helped through some tougher days. Sometimes you just have to trust that something might work and see where it takes you (much like many areas of recovery). All I can do is share my experiences and hope that sharing a simple exercise helps at least one other individual out there.