Your mind can be a dark place to be stuck in. If you constantly think poorly about your body, your own mindset becomes more and more negative and it becomes harder to turn it around.
I get it – it’s not easy to think positively about your body. It’s almost ingrained in women to believe they’re not beautiful, sexy or even worthy.
And that makes me sad.
The good news is that we can train our mindsets to become more accepting of our bodies. The bad news is that it can be pretty tough, especially if you’re experiencing extreme, depressive thoughts. You have to work at it consistently. Let me share with you a tool I use every day that is proven to help people shift their thoughts.
Stating positive self-affirmations can help you retrain your brain to think positively about your body or anything negative you’re experiencing. Your voice and your thoughts – though they may seem small in comparison to your body – form the foundation of your body image. You can change negative thoughts about your body with positive affirmations.
Let’s go over how affirmations work, and I’ll give you a few examples to help shift your body image thoughts.
Mentality Makeover with Positive Affirmations
Our mindsets are programmed based on things we’ve been told, things we tell ourselves, and our life experiences. We need to change our mental programming in order to accept ourselves and live more confidently.
When I went through depression in college, I hated my body. Absolutely hated it. I hated looking in mirrors and putting on any kind of clothes that weren’t sweats. My self-talk was awful, often times so mean that I made myself cry. Hence, the depression.
I had heard about affirmations then, but I didn’t do them correctly. I told myself things that I didn’t believe:
- I am beautiful.
- I am skinny.
Or things that weren’t helping the issue:
- I am capable of eating only 1200 calories a day.
These didn’t work for me because they weren’t affirming what I believed to be true.
I heard about affirmations again earlier this year when I read The Miracle Morning for Network Marketers by Hal Elrod. Though this version of the popular book is directed toward business, I got a lesson in how to create affirmations for any life goal.
The affirmation should be something you’re working toward, rather than stating something as if you’ve already accomplished it. Try this formula to make your own affirmation:
“I am becoming a better [fill in the blank] every day.”
“I am becoming more and more [fill in the blank] every day.”
These formulas affirm that you are working on something and you’re progressing. Note that I said, “you are working on something.” Affirmations affirm work that you are doing toward a goal, meaning you have to be willing to do some work or you still won’t believe your affirmation. Your actions must be in alignment with what you want to achieve.
How to Implement Positive Affirmations
There are a few different ways to go about using affirmations, so experiment and choose what feels best for you. The most important thing, no matter which method you choose to go, is that you put emotion and energy into it.
Don’t roll your eyes at me, just do it 🙂
I listen to Mary Meckley’s Daily Meditation Podcast, where she releases a new affirmation technique every Monday based on her weekly meditation theme. Her technique is to recite the affirmation 3 times in a series of ways.
- 3 times in your loudest voice
- 3 times n a normal voice
- 3 times in a whisper
- 3 times moving your lips without sound
- 3 times mentally
That might seem like a lot, but it takes only a minute or two and it really gets you thinking about and feeling the words you’re saying.
Maybe there’s something that never fails to bring a negative thought to your mind. If you’re hating on your body, it might be looking in a mirror or changing clothes. Use these points as triggers to say your affirmation.
For example, every time you’re in front of a mirror, look into it and repeat, “I am accepting my body more and more each day.” Or, every time you put your work clothes on in the morning, repeat the affirmation. Pick a trigger point and affirmation that makes sense to you.
Make a pretty graphic of your favorite affirmation and post it everywhere – your house, your car, your desk. Write it on a whiteboard. Go back to your teenage days and write it on the mirror with lipstick.
Every time you come across the visual, recite the affirmation to yourself. The more often you do this, the quicker you’ll retrain your brain to think positively.
My Favorite Positive Affirmations for Women and Body Image
Here are a few examples of affirmations to help you correct negative body image:
- “I accept my body the way it is and am loving it more each day.”
- “I am grateful for my [body part] because….”
- “I nourish my body and my needs.”
- “I like [insert awesome quality] about myself.”
- “My body is a gift from [God, nature, yo’ momma, what have you].”
- “The number on the scale does not determine my self-worth.”
- “I am [insert awesome quality, preferably something other than appearance-based].”
- “I have a greater purpose in this world than fighting my body,” (that one is just awesome).
- “I am committed to [some non-weight-related goal]. I am making it happen by [action].”
- “I have everything I need.”
You’ll see some of these aren’t geared directly toward your body, but they help redirect your mind to a purpose that deserves more of your attention. Those ones are great to get the focus off your body and onto other matters of your life.
Which one of these affirmations speak to you? Tell me your favorite one by leaving a comment, and let me know if you have any questions about affirmations!
Now go be kind to yourself!