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Healing Your Body Image: A Holistic Approach to Self-Transformation

October 19, 2023

What is Body Image?

Body image is not merely how we view our physical appearance; it extends to the emotions and thoughts we attach to it. This guide aims to break down and explain different aspects of body image:

Perceptual: How you perceive your body. This perception isn’t always a true representation.
Cognitive: Your thoughts around your body, which can be positive and/or negative.
Affective: How you feel about your body based on your perceptions, leading to emotions such as shame or guilt.

Behavioral: Actions based on your thoughts about your body, such as
exercise or clothing choices.

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CBT and Challenging Thoughts

Life today is a complex tapestry of commitments—family, health, bills, mortgages, careers—that often obscures the essence of our being. In this intricate maze, the Dreaming Path is a beacon, reminding us of
the importance of our own stories. The authors, through conversations, exercises, Dreamtime stories, and key messages, invite readers to gather around the fire and discover the transformative power of Aboriginal spirituality.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a powerful tool for challenging and changing negative thoughts. Here’s a simple process to start:

Identify a negative thought: It could be anything about your body. Unpack it by asking yourself ‘why?’ to understand the root cause. Challenge and replace: Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
For instance, replace “I hate my body” with “everyone looks different, and my self-worth is based on my character, not appearance.”

This skill, though challenging initially, promotes independence and healthier habits.

Self-Care Practice

Building a self-care routine is crucial for healing. Consider these practices:

Journaling: Use a nice journal to write down thoughts and feelings.
Try guided journals like “6 Minute Diary” or “The Inner Queen
Journal.”
Connect with Nature: Walk in a forest, try cold water swimming, walk
barefoot, or engage in gardening. Surrounding yourself with nature
positively influences body image.

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Practice Affirmations

Affirmations are powerful tools for building a positive self-image.
Some examples include:

“I am love.”
“I feed my body healthy, nourishing food because it deserves to be
taken care of.”
“I am kind to my body and others.”
“I choose health and healing over diets and punishment.”

Feel free to create personal affirmations rooted in the present,
always starting with “I am” or “I choose.”

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Practice Self-Compassion

Mindfulness: Notice thoughts and feelings without judgment. Think of
judgmental thoughts as passing clouds.
Be gentle with yourself: Treat yourself like a good friend. Comfort
yourself in times of mistakes and imperfections.
Learn to say ‘no’: Set boundaries and focus on self-care. Saying ‘no’
is an act of self-love.
Build good relationships: Surround yourself with people who treat you
well, respect you, and appreciate you.

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Remember, this is your toolkit, your journey to recovery and healing.
Be patient, compassionate with yourself, and embrace the
transformative power of positive change. 🌿💖

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