Gratitude is a quality we can be constantly developing to feel more connected in our lives. With the slowing energy of Autumn and celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, we’re more likely to take pause at this time to appreciate all the blessings in our lives. One that I’d like to highlight today is the amazing human body and how to accept your body as it is.
Do you love and appreciate your body? For many of us, the answer is “NO”!
There might be something about your appearance that you were born with that we’d like to change.
Or maybe you’ve had health challenges that have made you feel betrayed by your body, so you’ve lost some respect.
Maybe you’re unhappy with the way you’re aging, constantly pointing out changing signs as flaws.
Perhaps you DO go through periods of being very thankful for your physical state, but it’s only after a health scare or after someone close to you dies.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to be thankful for your body everyday? Imagine what that may look like…
With that degree of appreciation, we would drop many fears and insecurities. We would make fewer judgements about the appearance of other people too. Most notably, you’d probably stay well for longer stretches of time if you’re constantly checking in with your body, addressing the smallest complaints quickly with devoted self-care.
We all need help in this area. But women are especially sensitive to body image issues and many moms tend to become more disconnected to their bodies as they start to care for their children.
Below are a few ideas to help you feel truly thankful for this precious vehicle that has carried you so far in your life and will continue to do so, hopefully for many more decades to come.
Before you read on, you may want to get my FREE self-acupressure guide. It will not only teach you how to accept your body, but will also relieve tension and get you to sleep sooner & deeper! I promise, you’ll love it!
Here’s 10 ways you can develop gratitude & acceptance for your body
1. Consider your body’s amazing capacity to heal
Most of our standard healthcare is focused on pathology. Fear of disease should not be your motivation for keeping your body well. Deep love and respect should be your motivation. To help you develop respect for your body, consider it’s amazing ability to maintain balance and heal.
Your body employs the immune system to rush to our aid whenever we have a cut or there’s a foreign microscopic invader. It runs on autopilot to keep your heart beating, breath moving, and temperature stable. It WANTS to find balance and is always giving you clues when it’s feeling overwhelmed.
2. Communicate with your body
Again, your body is amazing and is always communicating with you! But the mind is powerful and can easily overlook these messages and even discount them.
If you want to accept your body as it is, you’ll need to take a good honest look at it’s condition. Accepting does not mean that we leave it alone though! Instead, we make conscious changes to give it what it needs. The following are typically alarm signals that the body is needing extra support:
- Unintentional weight gain/loss
- Skin rashes/outbreaks
- Digestive disturbances
- Frequent illnesses
- Disturbed sleep
We can thank our body for these messages, see all of this without shame, and move forward to give the body what it needs to come into balance (perhaps also asking for help from a health professional).
You also need to talk about your body in a positive way
3. Appreciate it’s ability to experience fun and pleasure
The way the body communicates with us is not all negative! Let’s thank it for it’s ability to experience pleasure as well. How?
- Make your sex life a greater priority
- Get regular massages or do self-massage
- Take long, hot baths with pleasant smelling, therapeutic essential oils
- Nourish your body with yummy but healthy foods (balance needs vs. cravings)
- For exercise, do what is fun, what you enjoy!
4. Seek out natural health to aid your body
They are also proactive – you do these both when you’re healthy AND when you’re unwell.
In my practice, I find that the people who embrace the modalities that I offer take more responsibility for their health, feel empowered as they get better, and are truly grateful as they see their body change and adapt.
5. Consider the qualities that make you unique
I am short, muscular, and curvy – very far from the “ideal” lithe body that many women long for. As a tween and even through young adulthood people would tease me about working out a lot (which I did not) and it felt horrible.
But over the years I was able to accept the dichotomy of being strong AND feminine. And now I know that other people’s opinions about my body don’t matter.
We all have something about us that may seem different from others. Can you shift your mind and see this as a gift instead of something that makes you seem strange or different?
6. Fill your wardrobe with clothes that fit
It took me a long time to start doing this! I still don’t have my pre-pregnancy body back and for quite awhile I was holding on to old clothes from the “old me”, wishing to get back into them. I finally realized they were just taking up space, and it wasn’t healthy to fixate on this.
It felt good to donate those clothes to people who are that size right now can wear them right now.
Consider filling your wardrobe with clothes that are appealing and comfortable. Try not to crowd it with those that remind us of our former self or a future ideal. Wear clothes that support you in the present moment, where you life is actually happening!
7. Stay present with your body, moving forward, without regrets
Cultivating gratitude for the body requires us to live fully in the present moment.
I know a few people right now who are overwhelmed with health challenges and are constantly comparing their current condition with how they used to be in the past. It’s important to learn from the past, but then to move forward with this new knowledge.
8. Be body-positive while also striving for a healthy physique
No one should be shamed for how they look. People come in all shapes and sizes and how they look does not at all diminish their value.
I do think it’s important that we be honest about the dangers of being outside a healthy weight or body mass index range – however you prefer to measure. So with regard to body size, I feel it’s understandable that we see more models who are in this healthy range.
It’s best if we get to a point where it doesn’t matter who we see in the media representing health – everyone is going to have their own opinion on that and the only one that matters is your own.
So let’s not judge other women’s physiques (or men!). Be compassionate about the stage their in and understand that their journey is personal. See if we can apply that same compassion to ourselves.
9. Adorn your body
If you love your body, show it off! Nice form-fitting outfits, jewelry, makeup, slathering with essential oils – even getting piercings and tattoos – are ways many of us like to highlight our favorite features and honor our bodies.
10. Use positive affirmations
Positive affirmations can be a great tool in changing unhelpful negative behavior like body shaming.
Since tension is an issue for me, here’s and affirmation that I like:
I consciously let go of tension, creating space and ease in my body, so I can connect in deeply with my essential nature.
Here’s more body positive affirmations that can help you with certain imbalances. Hopefully you’ll find one you like, or it may inspire you to come up with your own.
I know these tips are just what you needed to hear!
If you need more guidance on how to accept your body, know that this is something we can work on in my holistic healing sessions which I provide both virtually online or in my Belmont, CA office.
Remember to grab my FREE self-acupressure guide for more loving support!