How to be more body neutral
The body positivity movement has helped many women to embrace and accept their bodies.
Yet, for some women, the idea of being body positive is just another impossible ideal to achieve.
When you’re stuck in body hate, the idea of ever being positive about your body can be a step too far.
Cue: body neutrality!
Practising body neutrality is a breath of fresh air for many women – a far more realistic way of relating to their body.
So what is body neutrality and how can you be ‘body neutral’?
In this post, I’m looking at what body neutrality means and how you can practise it.
Watch or read below:
What does it mean to be body neutral?
To me, being body neutral can mean:
- Feeling ‘okay’ about your body;
- Being objective about it, and not making it ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’;
- Not having any strong feelings about it;
- Or not really thinking about your body at all.
When you’re being body neutral, you don’t need to love or even like your body.
Being body neutral allows you to take the focus OFF your body and onto your life. It means you can get on with the things you want to do without being held back by body negativity.
How to become more body neutral
So the theory sounds all well and good, but how do you practically get to a place of feeling body neutral most of the time?
Well, like most things, it takes practice! But to help you practice body neutrality, I’ve got four things for you to try:
1. See your body as a vehicle, not an ornament
This means focussing on your body’s function over its form. Focus on what your body does, not its appearance.
To practice this, you might write a list of all the functions your body performs and look at it regularly to reframe your thinking. Or, each day, you might say what body functions you’re most grateful for.
2. Do daily body scans
For a few minutes each day, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and mindfully scan your body from your feet up to your head.
Notice what sensations you can feel as you scan each body part. Do you have any aches or pains, where do you feel relaxed, are you hungry, thirsty or tired?
Don’t judge any of your sensations, just notice what is happening in your body.
Tuning into your body in this way not only alerts you to what your body needs, but it helps you to experience it in a functional, more neutral way.
3. Regularly focus on your life goals and ambitions
By this, I don’t mean what you will do once you lose weight or reach a certain dress size. I mean writing down what you want to do with your life NOW regardless of what your body looks like.
Your aim here is to focus on what is really important to you and actively work towards that – you’re shifting your focus from your body to your life.
4. Create a proud log
A proud log lists all the things that you are proud of yourself for – big and small.
I like to write my ‘proud log’ each year at 6 month intervals. It serves as a reminder of everything that you’ve been through, and the internal resources and skills you have to draw on.
Regularly completing a proud log helps build your sense of self-worth beyond appearance, reminding you that you are so much more than a body!
Learning to be more body neutral really can have a big impact on your life, so give these four strategies a try.
I’d love to hear what you do to be more body neutral. Please leave a comment below.