It’s so easy to engage in body criticism, body shame, and body sadness. Social scientific research, media reports, and everyday experience suggest that many of us engage in daily mental accusations against our own bodies. This is understandable, and as someone with a history of eating disorder, it’s certainly something I can relate to. But, from a pragmatic perspective or a yogic perspective, such self-negation doesn’t do much that is good for us. We can use constructive analysis of the body to help us focus our health efforts, but non-constructive negative self-talk only clutters our minds with more vrtti, places our focus on the physical over the emotional or spiritual, emphasizes the division between self and other, etc. Yet, coming up with some positive things to say about and to the self isn’t always easy. In this post, I present to you some examples of honest but positive affirmations related to the body that can become a part of the ongoing self-talk we all engage in. Not every affirmation works for every person, as we all have different bodies, but we can all find positive things to say about the body.
My body is so miraculous. It’s a cybernetic (self-correcting) system in action!
24 hours a day, I breathe and I don’t even have to think about how to make that happen. That’s amazing.
I love that I can experience the taste of sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy food on my tongue. Yay for my tastebuds!
I’m so grateful that I can get from place to place with my own two feet (or one foot or hands – whatever you use for locomotion).
This body I’m in allows me to hug, touch, kiss, hold hands with those that I care for and that’s a fabulous thing.
It’s so wonderful to be able to see, and hear all of the beauty in this world.
I’m so pleased for a digestive system that allows me to enjoy food that sustains me. My gut rocks!
My eyes (lips, toes, knees) are so pretty.
Oranges, violets, and vanilla (or chocolate, roses, and beer?) smell so fabulous to me. I love having a nose.
It feels amazing to run my toes or fingers through sand and water. I’m so happy for fingers and toes!
When I stretch, I feel like I’m opening myself up to the world. That is so nice!
My skin is such a pretty shade.
I’m grateful for this body that allows me to interact online with others who love the things I do.
My body is one hundred percent unique!
Some of this may be a little too corny for you, but it’s really no more corny than the time we spend thinking “My butt is too big,” “I can’t do a backbend like Jill,” “I wish I could run a marathon,” “Why isn’t my hair curly?” Why do we say things like this to ourselves when we would never ever think they are ok to say to someone else? Treat yourself as lovingly as you would a child in your care. What would you be willing to say to him/her about his/her body?
Tell yourself 3 good things about your body right now. Do it again tomorrow and the day after. Eventually, maybe you’ll believe it even if you don’t right now. Eventually, maybe it will crowd out some of the negative self talk.