Working Through Body Image Difficulties Mindfully

How many times have you found yourself scrolling through instagram and feeling like you aren’t good enough? 

You may feel our nose is fat, lips are too thin, eyes aren’t pretty, or that you are simply not like your ideal body type. The images we see online are very different from what reality is!

You may also find yourself comparing yourself to real people in your life. It may be your sister, brother, parents, friends, etc. You are not alone!

It is important to create space to understand yourself and be kind towards your feelings and experiences. Only when we can understand ourselves and can truly be able to appreciate ourselves.

Let’s do an activity for you to create a kind of friendship towards your body and change the way you view yourself.  

Practice:

In this activity you will have to bring focus to smaller sections of your body. Thanking and appreciating it for what it does for you. Before starting your practice sit on a chair or the ground comfortably, with your eyes closed.

  • Start by taking 5–10 deep breaths. Each time you breathe in, remember it is helping you to stay alive and well. Every time you breathe out, smile and relax your body a little.
  • Now slowly bring your attention to the area covered by your hair. Your brain is one of the most vital organs in your body, and is working all the time. Appreciate what all it does for you. Smile at it lovingly and say, ‘I thank you for taking care of me every day.’ Now, stay connected, feeling the sensations in your face for a few seconds. 
  • Similarly, turn your full attention to your face and gradually move your attention to your whole front torso, from your neck to your chest and belly followed by your back working your way up to the seat of the body and your legs.
  • Once you have finished appreciating and thanking your entire body, take your attention to that one aspect of your body that disturbs you the most. Focus your full attention on that one aspect. 
  • Now simply remind yourself again how your body works tirelessly to keep you well and functional. Is it not unfair to be upset about something so minor? Smile at that aspect of your body and say, ‘I am sorry, I have not loved you enough. I am sorry I have been unkind to you by disliking you. I will try to remember how kind my body is to me.’
  • Now smile at that part and stay connected to it, watching the sensations for a few seconds. End your practice by taking a few deep breaths, smiling and relaxing every time you breathe out.

This is a beautiful way to mindfully learn to love and appreciate yourself. When you focus on remembering the wonderful ways in which your body supports you every day, even without you caring much for it, you will gradually start to love your body. Your body will also respond by healing and becoming healthier.

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