Body positivity is a growing movement that is making its way into different facets of society and industries such as health, wellness, fashion and social media. While the term body positive is relatively new, it has some historical roots that can be traced back to the ‘60s. Sometimes misunderstood, body positivity is about the celebration of all bodies, and learning to love and embrace one’s body in the various stages it goes through. A person who practices body positivity isn’t seeking perfection, but rather, is learning to love the “imperfections” while also still taking care of themselves.
The body positivity movement, at its heart, is about self-acceptance and embracing a more positive attitude and rejecting the negative ideas society teaches about bodies.
How to Practice Body Positivity Through Physical Self Care
How does one practice body positivity? There are a number of different ways, from personal self-care to more concrete actions and activism. The main component is practicing that key word: positivity. Practicing positivity can be broken down into two ways: positive acts and positive thoughts. By following through on positive actions and thinking positive thoughts, your outlook on life will be better, happier and more relaxed.
The body positivity movement stresses health and taking care of your body the right way. Outside of exercising and eating healthy, this usually means forms of self-care. Physical body positivity can range from an at-home yoga session, to a relaxing massage at an AIRE Ancient Baths location. By treating your body in a positive way — nurturing it, taking a break when needed — you build a better, loving relationship with your body.
The healthier your relationship with your body, the healthier you can be too! Many forms of mental stress stem from, in part, a person’s negative view of themselves and their body. The idea that changing your body to change yourself can also affect a person’s mental wellbeing; many people who had experienced these issues turn to the body positivity movement as a type of self-healing.
Think Good Thoughts!
Another facet of the body positivity movement is embracing positive thinking. Children’s author Roald Dahl has a famous poem which more or less states that good thoughts make you beautiful, while ugly thoughts make you ugly. While positive thinking cannot physically transform a face, positive thinking does transform a person’s inner confidence, and that shines through and makes a person attractive.
The benefits of positive thinking include:
- increased life span
- lower rates of depression
- better mental and physical well-being
- better coping skills
How does the body positivity movement teach positive thinking? One method is to repeat to oneself, either out loud or in their head, positive statements. These can range from things you like about yourself, or nice, affirmative statements that show appreciation. In a sense, practicing positive thinking is almost like meditation, especially with a repetitive mantra.
Positive thinking isn’t necessarily easy. It’s a practice in learning to identify negative moods or thoughts, and work to either discard them or change the attitude. The body positivity movement also embraces these off-days or bad days, believing in balance so that we can learn to appreciate the good days. The body positive movement also believes that when you’re having a bad day, or full of negative thoughts, it’s okay to treat yourself to something that will make you feel better.
Essentially, the body positivity movement is about loving yourself and projecting confidence. While many body positivity mantras might seem cheesy to newcomers, they hold a lot of truth in their statements. When the relationship to yourself and your body is positive, you seem happy and confident, and people pick up on that.
Confidence is seen as the absence of negativity and self-doubt. It can take years of practice to build up, but it’s a strong quality to have. How do you practice confidence? It’s the same method of positive thinking, by repeating to yourself positive, affirmative statements. These feel-good thoughts can help calm anxiety and stress, and eventually change thinking to be more positive than negative.
Confidence and positivity can lead to an overall improved quality of life, simply because of the power of positive thinking. It’s as easy as taking a deep breath, relaxing, and telling yourself that you’ll have a great day.
If you would like to read more about that, we suggest you read the article Find your inner peace: techniques and benefits.