Thursday, August 24, 2017

8step thumb 144x176Althought there care no quick fixes, you have the power to overcome a negative body image. For starters, try these steps, adapted format he Body Image Workbook: An 8-Step Program by Thomas F. Cash, PHD. To purchase the book, go to our local book store or visit www.bodyimages.com

Step 1.
Think about how open you are to positive thoughts about your body. Can you give yourself a compliment without additional self-criticism? Perhaps you feel that people who like their bodies are vain and you don’t want to be like that. Open yourself up to accept compliments about your body and the way you look. When someone compliments you, say “Thank you” ans do your best not to counter the comment in our mind.

 

Step 2
Realize that while experiences and socila conditioning have much to do with body image, what happen on a daily basis weighs in more heavily. Laying blame only serves to confirm the problem-it does nothing to help solve it. So take responsibility today and realize that you feel what you think. It’s how you view the experience events, not the events themselves, that garners emotional reaction. When you start to think negatively about your body, sk yourself these questions:

What am I feeling?
What just happened to make me feel this way?
What am I saying to myself about this situation?
How am I reacting behaviorally to this experience ?
Going through this “self-monitoring” process encourages you to identify the emotions you’re having and figure out what Triggered them. This eventually reduces the power that negative thoughts have over you.

Step 3
Take control of your body-image discomfort with body and mind relaxation. You can be upset and calm at the same time. Using these tools will help stop negative self-talk and encourage a better body image. Take time everyday to do the following: Physically relax your body and let go of tension built up in your muscles.

Breathe deeply. Rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing helps establish a sense of control and relaxation. Switch off negative mental images and switch on pleasant ones.

Offer yourself positive instructions. Toss out words such as “ugly” and “fat” and replace them with words such as “confident” and “peaceful.”

Step 4
Cultivate a “new inner,” which will help you improve your body image. Write down five positive thoughts about your appearance, even if you don’t believe them. Write down what you want to believe, then read the out aloud every day.

Step 5
Correct your “Beauty-or Beast” thinking. Thoughts such as, “If I don’t lose 10pounds, then I’m fat” are black-and-white thoughts that really do have gray areas. To combat this way of thinking, try these methods:

• View things on a continuum. Real “10,” that doesn’t automayically make you a “I.” Think about how you view other people. Do you judge them in extreme categories? Probably not. You most likely see them on a scale, so why do you view yourself in such extremes?

• Become more objective in your self-talk. Instead of thinking, “I have hippo hips,” say to yourself, “My hips are powerful and beautifully feminine.”

Step 6
Don’t let appearance -preoccupied rituals - patterns of behavior established by negative body image - consume your thoughts and govern your actions.