Last week in the Intuitive Eating group that I co-facilitate we were talking about the value of mantras, short sayings that have special meaning to you. These are the words that you sometimes need to hear.
The participants had a hard time coming up with mantras specific to body image, as body bashing is so engrained in our brains that alternate thoughts are hard to come by. We started by looking at the function of their body parts rather than just the form (appearance), and expressing gratitude for the remarkable ways the body works for us.
A few examples of function rather than form:
- My hips allow me to dance
- My belly grew a child
- My hair keeps my head warm
- My arms allow me to hug the people I care about
And from there we stepped in to the mantras. The one that stuck with me was "It is what it is, and that's ok." I think it resonates because it's based in acceptance, not needing to change anything about a circumstance even if I don't like it. The next morning I woke up exhausted and had to rush out the door to give a presentation. I repeated this mantra every time my negative thoughts came up and felt better instantly. I could have gone about my whole day complaining and resentful for how tired I was, but instead I accepted the situation and had a very fulfilling day at work.
Play around with some mantras that will inspire and comfort you when you most need it.