1.Question what the mind is telling the body
Have you ever stopped to wonder what the relationship is between your mind and body? We read so much about it but actually taking the time to sit in silence with a pen and paper may be a once in a lifetime experience for some, most wont ever do it at all. Reflecting psychologically on your body can positively change your friendships, relationships and even your career.
Before brushing off the idea of reflecting on your body for ten minutes forget about the errands you need to run. Ten minutes of body image reflection will be worth the time. Take a pen and paper and write down on a scale of 1-10 how you feel about your own body at that present moment. 10 being very positive and 1 being very negative. This is the first step on the journey to being aware of your body.
2.Come up with a plan of action
Now that you've named your body image you can begin working with it. If you rated high, assess the positive things in your life that contribute to it and make sure to maintain them. If it comes back negative make a plan of action and ways in which you can improve it. A suggestion is to keep a diary. Write one positive thing about your body in it a day.
Look at the language you use to describe your body, it is positive or negative?. Look at the way you dress your body, does it show your body in a positive light? If not think about treating yourself to something the next time you shop. Evaluate how other people talk about your body and make sure that the language they use is positive. While improving body image it is important to also focus on the inner self. Leaving appearance aside what is positive about you as a person? Body image is a mixture of the mind and body yet some confuse it with the appearance alone.
3.Question the use of images in the media
It is no secret that the mass media effects our body image. Start to monitor radio, billboards, stores, magazines. How do you feel after being exposed to them? Begin the process of critical thinking, for example is there false lighting on advertisements? What exactly are they trying to sell to me?. How much altering have these images went through?
The more you begin to question and analyse the media you will gain the skills to identify ideals and how they differ from the reality itself. A brands philosophy is to make money. Train your brain. Think about the harmful consequences of comparing your body to others. Don't just see body image in the media at face value. Question it constantly. In time, you will graduate as a media detective.
4.Explore body movement in different ways
Movement of the body doesn't always mean fitness or the changing of ones appearance. It may be sitting with your hands on your lap for five minutes doing breathing exercises. It might be the smell of a rose or fresh orange juice. The shift of focusing on bodily sensations as opposed to body appearance is an experiment that has been proven to boost self esteem. Start to focus on how blessed you are to feel bodily sensations and become aware of the movements your body can make on a daily basis. Watch out for things like mirror checking, weighing and the desire to alter your appearance. Instead work towards a goal of acceptance.
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