Body Image & How to Honor Yourself
Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tidbit to help boost your body image. For many of us, Mondays are tough. We may feel anxious and stressed out, anticipating an arduous week, especially if we didn’t get much rest and relaxation during the weekend.
These kinds of feelings don’t create the best environment for improving one’s body image. In fact, you might be harder on yourself and easily frustrated. You might even feel like you’re walking on egg shells – with yourself! With these posts, I hope you’ll have a healthier and happier body image day, that’ll last throughout the week.
Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be happy to feature it. It can be anything you do that’s healthy and helps boost your body image. I’d love to hear from you!
I recently came across an article by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway at Beliefnet on practical ways to honor yourself, which I think is so important for building a positive body image. So below, I’ve highlighted a few of Rev. Laurie’s helpful tips. You can check out all the tips here.
But first, a few excerpts from her article, which many of us will certainly relate to:
We are born with love in our hearts, and it lives within us all. But some of us put so much focus on finding love and approval “out there” that we never get a chance to truly develop it within ourselves. We look for it in the external world–from parents, partners, friends, bosses, new people we meet, people we admire. If any one of them disappoints, devastation follows.
How many times have you been hurt because of someone else’s opinion of you? When we experience self-esteem only through the eyes of others, one unkind word or a bad mood in another can shatter our sense of self.
If I’m being honest, my answer would be countless times. The above describes me to a T, whether it was praise about a school assignment, some personality attribute, an outfit or my looks in general. I’d search for praise, reassurance and confidence everywhere, except for inside myself.
To me, a complement felt intoxicating. It was like a gift. It made me feel worthy and special and like I was deserving. But if hearing positive words is like getting tipsy, a cold shoulder or an insult is a hangover. You get dizzy, feel crappy and rather than taking good care of yourself, prefer to stay home with a bucket of fries and some ice cream. It would throw my whole day off – and, unfortunately, along with it, my entire self-image.
Learning to honor yourself and have a stable and positive self-image is a process. It obviously doesn’t happen overnight; however, I think that the below tips are good ways to start the journey.
- Create a “curriculum.” Make a list of 10 things that’ll improve your self-esteem, well-being and happiness. Rev. Laurie suggests adding activities like meditation and dates with yourself. I love the date idea, because getting to know yourself is really important to improving your body image. How? Because you realize how deep of a person you truly are. For one, you’re more than a body. By scheduling some good ole alone time with yourself, you get to discover who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, what you’re good at, where you can improve. Two, really knowing yourself helps you create a sturdier sense of self, one that doesn’t bend and twist because of someone else’s comments. Of course, it’s normal to feel hurt and unsure of yourself. But, unless you did something terrible, no one deserves to have one comment shatter their very core.
- Open your heart. Each morning spend 10 to 20 minutes meditating to music that Rev. Laurie says “feels heart-opening to you.” If you choose a particularly empowering song, it can set the mood for your whole day, too.
- Pick your own theme song. Rev. Laurie writes,”We all need a self-love anthem, a song that makes us feel good about ourselves and snaps us into a state of higher self-esteem and hopefulness immediately.” For me, this is similar to my workout mix on my ipod. Whenever I hear these songs, I suddenly feel stronger, and want to challenge myself. They arouse something in my mind that travels throughout my body, and all I want to do is go faster.
- Write a “self-nurturing mission statement.” We’ve talked before about the importance of having a bigger purpose for building a better body image, and thereby creating your own life mission statement. This is similar. You basically create a statement that puts honoring yourself as a priority. Below is Rev. Laurie’s example:
I am a beautiful person, and I have so much to share with the world. Honoring myself and my needs is my first priority. My life is enhanced daily by simple acts of self-nurturing, and my world is in balance. I have excellent boundaries, and I wake up each morning with a deep sense of self-love, self-esteem, and the knowledge that I deserve good things in my life. It is my birthright to be happy, successful, and loved.
Today’s favorite post. “A Not-So-Random Act of Kindness” at Psych Central’s World of Psychology blog – a truly heart-opening post.
By the way, stay tuned tomorrow for my interview with Christie of Honoring Health!
How do you honor yourself? How did you stop turning to others’ for reassurance? Since this is especially tough for me, I’d love to hear your tips!
Tartakovsky, M. (2014). Body Image & How to Honor Yourself. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 5, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2010/07/body-image-how-to-honor-yourself/