At times, and of no fault of your own, the brain can create a skewed reading of what it perceives in the mirror. If this is true, and you can create negative views of what you observe in your mind’s eye, then you can also train your thoughts to create positive images. It merely takes a bit of work, a bit of focus, and a bit of mental fine-tuning. Further, if you feel stifled by your weight loss efforts or your body-image could use a shift from lukewarm to a positive boil, read on for four steps that can help get you there.
1) Create a Baseline
Even if you think you are displeased with the image of the body you see in the mirror, it never hurts to take inventory of what’s positive, right now. If you want to make a change, the exercise of taking a body self-inventory is an excellent way to begin.
Create a baseline for your body image by outlining a mission statement for your body. You can do this by first scanning your body from head to toe and documenting all the positive qualities you can uncover. Next, when creating your mission statement for the next year, take into consideration these good qualities, as well as how you feel in the company of others. Finally, continue by making a note of what your mind perceives about your body right now, as well as taking note of what you would like to change.
2) Love Your Body, Today
To build on your mission statement, you should continue to take time each day to give thanks for what you have and love your body as it is today. This exercise in self-love and awareness works to marry all parts of the being: mind, body, and spirit.
To love your body as it is, try this regimen inspired by Louise L. Hay in her book, You Can Heal Your Life. To complete the exercise take the previous overview of your body and all the positive ideas you have about it. Let what you love about yourself expand each day through the practice of mentally sending love to your body.
Send positive energy to the parts of your body you admire the most, let this positive energy expand. Each day find a new piece of your body to love, sending it positive energy. In time, according to the author, you will put yourself back together as a fully-realized positive entity.
3) Make a Plan to Change
When you created your mission statement in the first step, you ultimately found characteristics about your body that you’d like to change in the next year. When considering your plan to change, however, aim first to let go of the characteristics that are out of your control. For example, you can’t change (naturally) your bone structure, your eye color, or your genetic makeup.
There are qualities (within reason) that you can do something about, like, improve nutrition, improve fitness, and improve weight. In this step, aim to look for daily ways you can enhance each of these three qualities. For example, signing up for an online health-tracker like myfitnesspal.com and logging in your daily goals will help improve these changeable qualities, daily.
4) Give Sincere Thanks to Your Body
A gift you can give yourself when aiming to improve body image is gratitude. Each day, give thanks to your body for the beautiful structure it is. Your body gives you the ability to enjoy this life, after all.
According to author Louise Hay in You Can Heal Your Life, your body is whole and complete just as it is. Deep inside you is the potential for health, potential for beauty, and potential for well-being. According to the author, it is your right to enjoy and attract all the available positive energy. Give thanks for this gift. Take time today and vow to take care of your body now and in the future.
Building a Better Body Image
To improve your body and improve your body image, you don’t necessarily need expensive equipment or gym memberships. If its weight you’d like to lose, and you are not already, get yourself moving by taking a daily walk. You could also buy a treadmill or add resistance training into your workout. Also, continue to look for simple ways you can lose weight if you need to and make small changes each day. But remember, all you have is this moment.
It is essential to embrace your positive body image today. By using these four steps and building the strength of your mind and body daily, you are aiming for the prescription of the authors of The Body has a Mind of Its Own. They remind us that taking charge of our thought patterns can re-form them into healthy, positive body images that transform our lives from the inside out!