Body Neutrality and How To Achieve It

Body neutrality is a waypoint between body negativity and body positivity. Sometimes, body neutrality is the end goal; however, it can be a nice middle ground when working towards body positivity. The process of practicing body neutrality is two-fold. 

1. Practice stopping the negativity to make space for body neutrality.

You have to make space for new thoughts, especially if you are struggling with body negativity. When you notice a body negative thought, imagine a stop sign or tell yourself to stop. Also, you can use distraction as a way to shift thoughts to something else.

Try getting ahead of these thoughts by changing your behaviors. For example, if you are more vulnerable to body negative thoughts when getting ready, you can cover your mirror, shower with dim lighting, or pick out your outfit the night before. Another example is changing your social media use to reduce accounts that are centered on the thin-ideal and dieting.

2. Practice noticing or appreciating the functionality of your body aka body neutral statements.

Body neutral statements are free of judgement, both positive and negative. For example, create a list of what your body does for you. Your body moves you from place to place. It is a vessel for your mind, soul, and heart. Your body allows you to communicate with others and hug the ones you love. Try bringing awareness to your body as a machine and tool that helps you get what you want in life. 

Changing your attitude and belief about your body is a practice not a destination.

In fact, the practice of body neutrality is one that you do not have to believe in order to practice. The mind is a powerful machine and practicing the above two-fold method creates new physical structures in your brain. Neurons that fire together, wire together. As you stop the negative thoughts, the neuronal networks that are built to think these thoughts weaken and atrophy. Similarly, the more your think neutral or positive thoughts, the stronger those networks become. In conclusion, changing thoughts means changing your physical brain. 

It’s important to give yourself grace as you are building a better relationship with your body. Thought patterns do not change overnight!

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