Being that summer is write around the corner there are articles, blog posts, and videos being posted everywhere about "slimming down" for summer or how to find the perfect suit. Here is a blog post that has a similar theme with a completely different message. plus I contributed to the post so please take a look: Body Confidence in Plus Size Swimwear
When we decided to disown our bodies for the shape they are we also disown and dishonor ourselves for the people we are. The greater times in which we find ourselves with shame being the leading voice, the more depressed and anxious we will find ourselves. However, when we throw out the shame by deleting "I should", "I hate", "They are better", "I will never" and things of the like we begin to accept ourselves, even if its on the radical level of just accepting thats where we are at even if we don't like it. All of this push and pull we demand of ourselves is unreasonable and in fact will not get us to where we want to be in a healthy way.
If we can integrate mindful approaches to the way in which we engage in life evidence from my own life as well as research from people like Zindel Segal, PHD (The creator of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) have proven that being mindful will yield healthier and more satisfying results.
Here are some practices to begin incorporating in your daily life as it relates to body-image:
1. Begin to bath yourself mindfully, appreciating how soap, lotion and or other bath products feels on your skin as its applied. This can shifts your attention away from your appearance towards how your body feels. To be aware of the present moment you must be present in your body.
2. Exercise and feel your heart rate, sweat, or how your arms and legs feel while doing it. Practice yoga for example to gain further awareness of where your body is in space. When exercise is only seen as a weight loss method, it can often lose some of the other positive mental health effects such as stress reduction.
3. Allow yourself to be proud of what your body can do. When you notice improvements in your physical health/body (no matter how small), take the time to pause and celebrate your progress. Then reward yourself by increasing your self-care perhaps by getting a massage or a facial or even buying a book you've been wanting to read.
Read other posts in my blog as I comment on mindfulness and body image throughout it in various ways as it relates to your mental health.