Let’s look at a form of negative self-talk that many of us women practice, and that is to say the most unflattering things about our bodies.
Imagine if you met a dear friend for lunch and upon seeing you, she exclaims:
“Geez. You’ve gained a lot of weight. Those pants are tight. And you have big bags under your eyes. You look tired. ”
How would you feel? Would you want to be friends with her? Would you even let her talk to you this way? This could shake your confidence, crush your self-esteem, and drain your energy.
Well, hearing these ugly words inside has the same effect. This kind of self-talk takes you further from the good stuff of life. We think it doesn’t matter that we say these things to ourselves inside – but it does matter. We hear it all in our brains, in our cells, in our bodies.
In fact, part of you thinks that you are under attack when you hear ugly words inside. Dr Judith Orloff says:
"Never show your body disrespect. Remember: it hears you! Allowing negative thoughts to control you betrays the body; it’s similar to an autoimmune disease, in which the body attacks itself.”
Think of the opposite. You meet this friend and upon seeing you, she exclaims:
“You look so beautiful. I love that colour on you. I am so happy to see you my friend.”
You will beam. You will feel love. These words will have the power to elevate you.
You have this same amazing, uplifting effect on your own self when your self-talk is loving, compassionate, and kind.
For Valentine’s Day, give yourself the gift of kind inner words for your body. All it ever wants is to serve you, and be your friend.
If this feels alien, start slowly, slowly.
Thank you to my hands for allowing me to hold those I love.
Thank you to my tongue for letting me enjoy amazing foods.
Thank you to my eyes through which I see colours, and flowers, and snow.
Thank you to my feet for taking me where I wish to go.
Thank you to my bum for sitting patiently in a chair while I often work long hours.
Thank you to my heart for all that you do for me everyday.
Thank you to my whole body for keeping me alive.
The poet Nayyirah Waheed wrote:
And I said to my body, softly, "I want to be your friend.
It took a long breath and replied, "I've been waiting
my whole life for this."
Happy Valentine's Day!