Body Image Booster: Listen & Get Poetic
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!
Take a minute and think about the words you used this weekend to describe yourself. The words you said to yourself. Or something you said to someone else.
When you looked in the mirror this weekend or this morning, what were the words that swirled in your head?
When you put on your clothes, what thoughts came to mind?
Did you make any comments about your physical appearance or your weight to anyone last week? Were they negative or positive?
Elizabeth Patch, of one of my favorite blogs, More to Love, recently talked about the power of words. (BTW, above is Elizabeth’s beautiful illustration, which I’m honored to be able to use with her permission.) She writes:
“sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words will never hurt me”…
But of course words can hurt!
In fact they can hurt terribly, and the scars can last as long as any of the scars that come with physical injuries.
If you can vividly remember the teasing and cruel comments of a long-ago sleep over, or the awful names you were called as you walked down the hallway at school,
if you still cringe at an unwanted nickname when you hear it, or worse yet, believe those words really describe you,
then you know the power of hurtful, hateful words.
How we describe ourselves undoubtedly has a huge impact on our body image, on how we perceive who we are and how we view our worth. So listen closely. Listen intently. Observe what you say, even for a day.
Listen to the words you use when you describe yourself.
Notice the silent talk in your mind when you look in a mirror.
Pay attention to the comments you make out loud when you are getting dressed,
or the way you talk about yourself to your friends and family.
Are you repeating the “sticks and stones” words that cause so much hurt,
or using lovely, poetic language that captures your true being?
I love Elizabeth’s suggestion of using poetic language, because to me that brings up examples of celebrating yourself, of celebrating your beauty and your positive qualities. And beyond that – of celebrating life’s moments.
So consider the many beautiful words you can use to describe yourself. Think of some of your favorite poems, your favorite pieces of writing. Pull out the positive words from those pieces, and see what words describe you.
If you find it tough initially to describe yourself positively, Elizabeth puts it into perspective for us:
If this sounds too simple to work, think of the power of language to describe products.
Satisfying, sinful, decadent….artificially flavored yogurt?
Cool, crisp, refreshing…shampoo?
If using positive language to describe yourself seems a bit forced and silly, ask yourself this:
Aren’t you as least as amazing as shampoo or yogurt?
I think it’s safe to say that for all of us the answer would be a resounding Yes! So have fun with this. Browse through your books or search the Internet for various poems (or other types of writing) and see what words ring true for you.
Today’s favorite post. “A Million Miles in Life” by Michelle at Eating Journey.
How have you been describing yourself lately? Has it been positive or negative?
Tartakovsky, M. (2014). Body Image Booster: Listen & Get Poetic. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 31, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2010/11/body-image-booster-listen-get-poetic/