Women are so dang hard on themselves! I can't tell you how many I've fit in swimwear–gorgeous women, beautiful and strong women–who only have negative things to say about themselves. It's heartbreaking to see how hard we are on our bodies and how we are often the first ones to criticize ourselves.
In celebration of women's empowerment month and our new print launching on March 23rd, we're offering up how you can start replacing some of your negative thoughts with more positive ones.
I invite you to start noticing how you speak to yourself. And to actively work on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
How can we stop the negative self-talk? Here's my four-step process for doing so:
Notice. Just observe how you speak to yourself. Just start to listen and “watch your thoughts”. This is practice that will improve over time. If you have the intention, you will start to notice what thoughts go by and what words you tell yourself.
You're already doing the majority of the work by just becoming aware of your thoughts and the words you tell yourself.
Stop the thought from embedding in your psyche. Don’t let the thought get past the watcher of your mind. Those negative thoughts don’t help you and so don’t let them implement in your brain. When we catch a negative thought, we now want to actually stop and say “oh hey there, not today”.
Miki Agrawal talks about this in her book Disrupt-her. She also recommends organizing the thought to deal with it later. Assign a time in your brain to think about it. So if the thought is, "I look bad in these jeans”, stop and catch the thought and then say, "ok I’ll think about how I look bad in these jeans at 6pm tonight". That categorizing lets your brain let the thought go because you're planning on dealing with it later (which of course, you won't be).
Once you notice the negative thought, and you've stopped it from embedding in your brain, now you must choose the next best thought.
The next best thought it something related to what you were thinking about but feels much more powerful. It's something you believe and can use to help shift from a negative to a positive. Let the “I look bad today” thought go and replace it with “I love how caring I am."
Change the scene. Physically changing your scene will help you release the negative thought pattern and help embed the new, better thought pattern. Our bodies and our physiology hold a lot of memories and have a lot of power. Once you've said your positive thought, change your scene to help shift away from the negative thought and help cement the more positive thought. Move rooms, move your body, light some palo santo, mix it up to get the energy flowing and create a fresh perspective for yourself. This also helps if you aren't able to find a better thought, simply shifting your body will help release the negative.
Finally start to incorporate even more positive affirmations and mantras throughout the day. Start by writing down things you love about yourself and then create mantras around that. Ex: If you love your eyes, when you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror say "I love my beautiful eyes".
Our favorite body confidence affirmations:
I am enough.
I am worthy of loving myself.
I am working on accepting myself, just as I am.
I love my...
I am expansive being and nothing can stop me.
I am strong.
My body radiates beautiful kindness.
I am grateful for my body.
I feel blessed with good health.
I am perfect, whole and complete, just the way I am.