- by Jared
Everywhere you look you see beautiful images of people’s bodies. Instagram, magazines, media…
Imagine spending hours on your makeup to post an image on Instagram. Then because you didn’t get enough likes, you delete your hard earned photo.
What a shame. Body image issues are real.
This video is about:
- Common forms of body image problems like comparing your body to another person’s body
- Understanding the big picture of helping someone with body image issues by thinking truthfully
- Exercises to uncover your self worth
- Two techniques of AND and Narration to stop obsessive inner critic
How to Help Someone With Body Image Issues Commentary:
when I first started looking at my judgemental mind, I always was looking towards bodybuilders.
I was a wrestler in high school. I wanted to look like the big strong guys I saw in various images.
So I lifted obsessively, starved myself obsessively, and compared my body to the body ideal obsessively.
And to this day I still will catch myself comparing my body or myself to other people in a superior or inferior way!
Even after years of counseling, self-development, yoga, etc… old habits die hard. We live in a culture that shames our bodies.
Even if you are beautiful, then you’re too skinny. If you’re buff, you’re not lean enough. There’s never enough body positivity.
What can we do about it?
We can start by realizing when we are body shaming ourselves. If we can bring self awareness to our own behaviors, then we can stand for positive change.
It’s like what Gandhi said, “be the change you seek”.
It’s what Eating Enlightenment is all about – realizing you have an inner beauty and practicing habits so that you live in alignment with your inner light.
Here are a few common ways in which you dull and darken your inner beauty:
- Superiority based on someone else’s problems or short falls
- Inferiority based on someone else’s assumed positive qualities
- Body bashing and self-criticism when you see your body like when you shower or look in the mirror
Because we live in a culture that shames our bodies automatically, we have to be realistic.
The way to stop obsessive body shaming and your critic is to be honest.
Because deep within you, you have a inner light and power that is stronger than your inner critic. Even the worst enter critic as strong as who you truly are when you believe in yourself.
First of all, we must realize that this inner power and inner light is who we are.
We have bodies, but we are not our bodies.
We don’t need to identify with our bodies.
This is a powerful teaching in the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient spiritual teaching from India.
In the Gita, this theme is highly important. You are not your body, you have a body.
So this means you can practice two techniques to stop body bashing.
Want to learn how to help someone with body image issues? Learn how.
First, when you catch yourself talking about your body, you can check to see if you are caught in body identification.
You know you are trapped like a rat in body identification when you are speaking to yourself in a harsh tone of voice.
A harsh tone of voice very rarely is speaking the truth. Most of the time, your harsh voice is Coloring your perception towards negativity. Our job is to just simply tell the truth.
So instead of saying, “I’m a fat worthless piece of s*** and my arms are flabby,” in a harsh judgemental tone…
We say instead, “I am not at my ideal weight and I am feeling uncomfortable.”
It’s very helpful if you reflect on if these negative thoughts are actually helpful too.
Because sometimes these negative thoughts are so familiar, the negative thinking seems like it’s your natural voice.
However, we can change our voice by reflecting if these negative attitudes help us. Does body bashing yourself lead to more productivity? Does it lead to more happiness? Or, does it lead to anything good?
It doesn’t. But this approach is crucial to learn in order to help someone with body images issues.
Instead of body bashing, try speaking in a neutral voice. Also, reflect on parts of your personality you like. Also, reflect on different functions of your body that you enjoy.
A function of your body is something like taking a shower, or going on a walk, or having sex. It’s pleasurable. Be grateful for your body for these different functions.
Now of course, many body images issues are also related to eating and particularly, overeating. Here’s another post I created about 5 ways you can stop overeating.