Take a deep breath; plunging into body talk is always tricky. The conversation centred around women’s bodies has been toxic for centuries, we know all the buzzwords - beach body ready, heels for longer legs, black for slimming, fad dieting, and everything in-between to make us feel as though whatever it is we are…it is simply too much or not enough.
When we talk about body positivity we mean trying to get to a place of authentic kind acceptance, a place where our self-talk is softer, where we make time to feel connected to the body we have, and where whatever changes we want to make are coming from a healthy place. Body positivity is a habit and it starts with daily practice and heightened awareness. Here are our tips for bringing body positivity into your world…
Trust Your Body
Let’s start at the deep end. Trusting our body is one of the most positive things we can learn to do. We have grown up in a world where our bodies are used as a source of shame, treated as the enemy, and considered the weapon to rally against. It’s time to drop all expectations of what the body is supposed to be, to quit the idea that we need to fight. Trusting our bodies helps us to listen to it, to thank it, and to learn to love it.
Fashion That Fits
We have somehow fallen into this world where we believe we need to manipulate our bodies to fit into clothes. The truth of the matter is; the clothes are supposed to fit our bodies, not the other way round. Toss out all those clothes that aren’t serving you. It can be hard to let go of our former selves or an idealistic vision we built, but these old clothes take up space in our closets and our mindsets.
Consider Your Diet
We aren’t talking about a food diet here, but more the language and messages we are putting in our bodies and soaking into our skin. We know that media is constantly telling us how to be prettier, thinner, wilder, and way more successful. Stop seeking out messages that make you feel bad. Stop crash dieting on self-hate.
There’s a lot of talk around self-talk and the messages we inadvertently send to ourselves. Awareness is key. Start noticing how you talk about yourself to other people, consider those thoughts that ripple through your subconscious when you glance in a mirror. Are you more often critical or kind? It’s time to tip the balance.
Seek Other Messages
As mentioned earlier, we have grown up being force-fed the beauty myth and now its time to tip the balance and take in other messages. These messages won’t be put there right in front of our faces so we need to seek them out. Follow body-positive bloggers and influencers, read books and listen to podcasts created by people who are paving the way for this revolution, and fill your feeds with people who are practising unapologetic living.
One of the best things we can do for our relationship with our body is to take up a sport or active hobby. From aerial silks to skateboarding, dancing, swimming, surfing or even walking – using the body to do something we love makes us truly appreciate the body’s ability.
Body positivity doesn’t mean that we are going to feel awesome every day and never have a negative moment. A pinch of negativity can serve us well; healthy emotions include a spectrum. It’s what we do with the negative feelings that count. Use those tough moments to connect back with ourselves or to reach out to a community. Journal, call a friend, drop into meditation, or simply sit with those feelings while practising being gentle.
How are you helping to heal your relationship to the body? Share your thoughts in the comments.