Implementing these mindful practices will hopefully make it easier for you to learn how to embrace yourself because once you do, the world is entirely your oyster. This is because you are at one with the vehicle (your body!) that allows you to thrive in the world.
1. It is completely and utterly YOURS. No one else in the World embodies who you are. It is your home, temple and sanctuary. You live in your body. So, instead of being at war with it, embrace it and appreciate your authenticity and uniqueness because every other body in the World is taken.
2. Your body can do so much. Set yourself fitness and health goals for 2017. Whether that be gaining the muscular strength to be able to perform push-ups on your toes or growing the endurance capacity that will enable you to constantly run 10 miles. Your body can overcome so many physical obstacles so work to nourish it and train it. Most importantly, physically move your body, but do it for the benefit of improving your health on the inside, not your outward appearance.
3. Your body allows you to physically and emotionally participate in this life. So work within it not against it. Your body enables you to engage with all the senses; to breathe, eat, move, feel and be. Your brain is the key to your academic success, allowing you to think, comprehend, visualise, and conceptualise ideas. Moreover, without it, you could not experience what the globe has to offer in terms of experiencing love, exercise, world travel, academic success and achievement. So express gratitude toward your body because it provides you with the skills to partake in life.
4. Your body is the machine that will transport you to your success. So what are you gonna do with it? What are your life aspirations? What is your life purpose? Stop obsessing about how you portray yourself on the outside. Focus on nurturing your insides because when your inner physical and psychological health is prioritised, you will feel so much more whole and appreciated of the body that you own. You will also feel more capable at being the dictator of your life and driving this machine of yours towards your success.
To better enable you to demonstrate an acceptance and gratitude for your body, the following tips may also be of assistance:
1. Before you go to bed, write a gratitude journal documenting your day’s achievements and at least two positive thoughts which come to mind about your personality and physical body. What do you love about yourself? What has your body enabled you to achieve today? Forming a habit of praising yourself will allow you to become more able at seeing you in a positive light and eliminating any negative thoughts which come to mind.
2. Dedicate time for yourself. Ensure you spend parts of your day focusing on you. Whether that be to partake in an exercise session, going out for a healthy, nourishing meal or taking time out to mediate or practice yoga. Reflect, revive and replenish yourself so your well-being is sustained. When life poses difficulties, it is your ability to ‘bounce back’; to change your behaviour and thinking patterns, gain a realistic perspective and implement more positive practices which will give you the means to overcome daily life challenges. Overcoming these challenges will only be achieved when your welfare, psychological health and mindset is in order.
3. Remember to love your body as if it was someone you are in love with. Love your body as if it is your friend, not your biggest enemy. It is easy to question why you were body the way you were. It is easy to analyse yourself against others and set a benchmark for yourself according to societal standards. But constantly critiquing yourself is not going to rectify those aspects of yourself you perceive to be imperfect. Your individual genetic make-up means you should not analyse yourself against others as you possess unique attributes, personality traits and physical looks which differentiates you from everyone else.
4. See the movie EMBRACE. EMBRACE is a 90 minute documentary, produced by the Australian made Body Image Movement which aims to promote the importance of inner health, body acceptance and body diversity. If you have ever experienced exercise obsessions, disorderly eating patterns or had a negative body image, this movie will act as your form of therapy. It will widen your perspective on the issues surrounding body image and the unrealistic standards placed on men and women by the media to produce a body which is not reflective of individuals’ true genetic make-up. This movie emanates a sense of positivity, love for bodies and gratitude for their abilities to allow individuals to function and participate.