Developing Body Positivity with Positive Psychology

Love yourself, all of yourself, because the alternative quite simply does not work. Body positivity is a modern mindset which goes beyond the concept of loving yourself. It is an extension of self-love. Creating new nurturing positive thoughts, feelings and beliefs about your imperfectly perfect body. While shedding negative critical and unhelpful ones in tandem. Believe me, your future self will thank you for investing in body positivity and self-love.

Body positivity is for every body, every ability, every gender, every age.

It is a measure of the quality of the relationship that you have with yourself – and to yourself.

Body positivity is not about pretending to love every aspect of your body all the time. It’s about accepting yourself as you are and recognising your worth beyond your physical appearance and differences.

Would you remain friends with someone who put you down, and criticised your hair, your shape, your clothes, or weight day in and day out?

Hell no!

Now ask yourself… what do I have to lose if I succeed at being body-positive?

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For those of you who feel at war with your body, the answer is a lot! You will lose years of internal baggage and conflict that you simply do not need to be carrying around in an increasingly critical and challenging world. You will lose young developmental thoughts and notions about yourself, that don’t fit this body, at this age, right now. That’s right, old-school thoughts from your past, that are outdated.

What do you have to gain from embracing body positivity?

Everything. Including, a newfound friendship with yourself that feels secure, loving and peaceful – content even. A connection with yourself that is nurturing rather than negative, comforting instead of conflicting and self-accepting instead of self-loathing.

Sounds too good to be true right?

Wrong.

Many of us have grown up in an environment and society that didn’t understand the value of positive interactions, emotional connection, encouragement and praise. Now it’s your turn to create that inner tender environment for yourself. Today.

It is called positive psychology. You can choose, decide and create new positive thoughts associations and beliefs about your body, one thought at a time, one day at a time. Why not begin by practising every time you look in a mirror? For those of you who go out of your way to not look at yourself in the mirror, start in your mind.

Learning to be body-positive

Learning to be body-positive and view your body in both a neutral and positive light is a wholesome and rewarding experience. A mindset that gives rather than takes. It is a habit-forming practice that does of course require your attention and patience to perfect but practice is progress.

Believe me, your future self will thank you for investing in body positivity and self-love.

Learning to be more body-positive is creating new core beliefs about yourself which your future self will thank you for in years to come. Thinking about how amazing and fascinating your body is. Being in awe of how it functions, grows and keeps your breathing and living day after day. Choosing clothes and colours that make you feel good. Letting go of self-criticism and judgements about the parts of you that you don’t like, and learning to be accepting of this body right here, right now. Body positivity is knowing how to nourish and fuel your body with healthy wholesome foods.

We often make external statements about ourselves through clothing, tattoos, appearances, and how we look for others – but neglect far more important statements honouring ourselves and our bodies. What type of internal statements do you make to yourself every day in your inner world? Making powerful and positive ‘I’ statements helps shape your future identity and build self-esteem.

Body positivity can and should reflect what we each feel inside and out. A perfect balance, an environment to grow and prosper. Let yourself be open to self-coaching. Permit yourself to befriend the body you have right now, every part of it, and who you want to become in the future.

Women and men can develop complex relationships with parts of their bodies, especially the sexual self.

Embracing body positivity can be a transformative journey that fosters self-love, acceptance, and empowerment. It can also help improve how you function in romantic and sexual relationships, helping you feel less self-conscious and more present.

How to be body-positive with these simple tips

Here are some tips to help you cultivate a more positive body image and embrace yourself wholeheartedly.

  1. Practice Self-Compassion: Start by being kind to yourself. Recognize that everyone’s body is unique and that it’s okay not to fit into societal standards of beauty. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would offer to a good friend. Remember, self-compassion is not about making excuses but about being kind to yourself as you navigate through your journey.
  2. Limit Your Social Media Feed: Social media can significantly impact how we feel about our bodies. Make a conscious effort to follow accounts that promote body diversity and positivity. Unfollow or mute accounts that make you feel inadequate or promote unrealistic beauty standards. Surrounding yourself with positive influences can help you appreciate your body more.
  3. Celebrate What Your Body Can Do: Instead of focusing on how your body looks, try to appreciate it for what it can do. Whether it’s the strength to carry groceries, the ability to dance, or the endurance to run a marathon, celebrating your body’s capabilities can shift your focus from appearance to appreciation for your body’s functionality.
  4. Engage in Positive Self-Talk: Pay attention to how you talk to yourself about your body. Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. Instead of criticizing your body, try to find things you like about it. It might feel awkward or forced at first, but over time, positive self-talk can significantly improve your self-esteem.
  5. Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Good: Dress in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Clothes that fit well and reflect your personal style can boost your mood and help you feel more positive about your body. Remember, fashion is a way to express yourself; there are no rules you must adhere to.
  6. Set Realistic Goals: If you’re working towards changing your body through fitness or nutrition, set realistic and healthy goals. Focus on overall well-being rather than achieving a specific size or look. Celebrate small victories along the way and be patient with yourself. Progress takes time, and it’s important to acknowledge the effort you’re putting in.

Body positivity is not about pretending to love every aspect of your body all the time. It’s about accepting yourself as you are and recognising your worth beyond your physical appearance and differences. By implementing these ideas, you can take meaningful steps towards embracing your body, improving your self-esteem, and living a more fulfilled life.

Believe me, your future self will thank you.

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Orlagh Reid Psychotherapy

Orlagh Reid

Orlagh Reid is an IACP accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist, Addiction Counsellor, Gottman Couples Therapist and Fertility Counsellor in private practice based in Co. Kildare, Ireland and worldwide online via DOXY. She specialises in addiction, recovery, well-being and clinical sexology. To find out more or to book an online consultation visit www.orlaghreid.ie

Orlagh Reid Psychotherapy MIACP Therapy Ireland

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