I challenged myself to stand naked in the mirror and compliment myself every day for two weeks. I’ve had experience with daily affirmations over the last couple years which I implemented at the recommendation of my therapist. Those affirmations were, however, aimed at altering my attitudes and mindset. I wondered if this practice could be used to develop a healthier body image as well. The answer, it seems, is yes.
It is challenging to rewire the long ingrained negative thoughts and emotions associated with our bodies, but I can now say from experience that it’s well worth it. This is what happened when I affirmed my physical appearance while standing naked in the mirror every day for two weeks.
Honestly, the first day was really difficult. Even though I was by myself, being naked felt awkward and uncomfortable. I had decided beforehand that I would choose three things each day I liked about my body. However, as I looked at myself in the mirror, all I could see were the things I didn’t like about myself jumping out. I would acknowledge these negative thoughts, but allow them to drift aside as I searched for something positive. It took a while, but eventually I completed my first three affirmations, quickly got dressed, and carried on with my day.
To make it even harder, I didn’t allow myself to repeat any compliments for at least the first week. Day by day I had to scour my reflection to find three new things I could appreciate. Some days were discouraging as I stood there looking at myself for minutes and still couldn’t come up with anything. Then other days I would be pleasantly surprised when I discovered something new I found beautiful. Each day I took as long as necessary to say three physical affirmations.
I broke through a wall on the second week. It felt like more of a game to come up with new body parts to appreciate. Nail beds aren’t something a person typically gets complimented on, but I discovered that I think mine are pretty great. I started to think outside the box, finding beauty in my eyebrows, ear lobes, back muscles, belly button, and toes. I was actually starting to have fun with it and looked forward to my new morning ritual.
I typically did this in the mornings which, once I got into it, started my day off in a positive place. When I had self-critical thoughts, I acknowledged them, but instead of focusing on them, I moved on in search of something self-affirming. I think practicing this over and over trained my brain to let go of the negative and actively search out the positive. It re-framed my mindset when I looked at myself. It’s increased my self-esteem.
I noticed that my husband also seemed to be in a better mood, and when I asked him about it, he thought part of his increased happiness was because I had been more open lately. I know I became more comfortable giving and receiving physical affection with my husband, and I’m sure that didn’t hurt either. I also began having an easier time accepting compliments from him.
While I no longer practice these three daily affirmations each day naked in front of the mirror, I do like to give myself a compliment every day or two when I am getting ready in the bathroom. This whole process has altered my mindset, and I am more conscious of my attitudes toward my body. I still see things I don’t like in myself, but I don’t get caught up fixating on them as much. I’m developing a healthy mind with which to experience my body.
I encourage you to take on my challenge. Stand naked in front of the mirror and compliment yourself every day for two weeks. Or start with your clothes on. Or do it for a different amount of time. Just practice affirmations that will cultivate a loving relationship with your body.
Stand naked & affirm yourself in the mirror every day for 2 weeks & see what happens Click To Tweet
What are your thoughts on body image? Do you use affirmations?
Also, I’m going to be back on Periscope today, Thursday the 3rd, at about 5:00 pm PST. I will be going through making my homemade deodorant. Search Heartful Habits to find me and tune in live!