In a world that often emphasizes physical appearance and idealised standards of beauty, it’s easy to develop a negative relationship with our bodies. However, adopting a body-positive mindset can be a transformative journey towards improved well-being and self-acceptance. Learning Mindfulness and Positive Psychology tools, we can cultivate a compassionate and inclusive perspective that celebrates all bodies.
Embracing the Present Moment
Mindfulness encourages us to be fully present, in the here-and-now, accepting the current moment without judgment. Applying mindfulness to body positivity means recognising and honouring our bodies as they are in the present. By redirecting our attention away from societal standards and towards self-compassion, we can appreciate our bodies’ uniqueness and inherent worth.
What you can do: During a mindful eating exercise, savor each bite of a meal. Focus on the flavors, textures, and nourishment your body receives. This practice shifts the focus from body image to gratitude for the body’s capabilities.
Fostering Gratitude and self-compassion and kindness, Positive Psychology emphasises cultivating positive emotions, strengths, and virtues. Applying this approach to body positivity involves nurturing gratitude for our bodies’ functions and treating ourselves with kindness and self-care. By shifting our perspective towards self-appreciation, we can build resilience and improve our overall wellbeing.
What you can do: Write down three things you appreciate about your body every day (these can be small things we often take for granted, or they can be unique skills). It could be the strength to lift heavy objects, the ability to walk, nurturing and providing sustenance for your baby, or the gift of sight. Regularly acknowledging these aspects promotes a positive body image and self-esteem.
Challenging Negative Self-Talk
Practice self-compassion. Negative self-talk can be detrimental to our mental and emotional health. Adopting a body-positive mindset requires actively challenging these destructive thoughts. Instead, we can replace them with self-compassionate and empowering statements. Recognise that your body is more than its appearance and that it deserves love and acceptance.
What you can do: When you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, pause and reframe the thought. For instance, if you think, “I hate my thighs,” rephrase it to, “My thighs allow me to move, and I am grateful for their strength.”
Cultivating Body Respect
Body positivity encompasses all body types, sizes, and abilities. Embracing diversity and inclusivity promotes an environment of acceptance and respect for everyone. By celebrating the beauty in our differences, we create a space where all individuals can feel valued and seen.
What you can do: Follow body-positive advocates and influencers who promote inclusivity and diversity on social media. Surround yourself with content that highlights a wide range of body types, helping you to broaden your perspective and challenge societal norms.