Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Talk Nice to Yourself

We all have certain 'personal' tasks that we must do every day. For example, we bathe, brush our teeth and put on our clothing. I want to propose a powerful way to work on self acceptance and building a positive self image while we engage in these repetitive 'self maintenance' procedures.

The process I'm about to explain is one that I've used for many many years. I am a believer in working with self talk as a tool to reshape our self image. Using positive statements about oneself is a powerful way to do this.

When I wash my face, for example, I say all sorts of positive things to myself about my complexion:

My face is youthful, glowing, radiant and bright!
My skin is clear, bright and healthy.
My face is blemish free, dark circle free, wrinkle free.
My skin is soft, supple and elastic.
My skin is supported by firm, toned musculature.

When I'm in the shower, I say positive things to myself about my hair, when washing and conditioning it:

My hair is shiny and healthy.
My hair is thick, full and lush.
My scalp is healthy.
My hair is beatiful and soft.

When I'm getting dressed, I say positive things to myself about my body:

My legs are toned and strong.
My muscles get stronger every day.
My skin is healthy and soft.
My body is flexible and limber.

In other words, I use the opportunity while I engage with various aspects of my physcial being to sing the praises of those parts! We have to do those things anyway, so rather than ruminating on some problem, or replaying a past conversation/event in our minds, why not do something constructive? We can bring increased presence and attention to what we are actually doing, and cultivate a healthier, more balanced self image. What a deal!

When we are working with a physical aspect of our form, it is doubly powerful to focus on it mentally in a positive and constructive manner. When we lift weights, a good trainer will encourage us to visualize the muscle(s) that we are working. It makes the lift more effective when we focus on the area of the body that is being exercised. This practice I'm advocating is based on the same premise. When we bring conscious awareness to what we are doing and use that opportunity to improve our relationship ourselves, we benefit immensely.

This can become a way of life. You start to really pay attention to what you are doing, AND to what you are saying to yourself when you are doing it. Cleaning up our self talk (removing negative, critical statements and replacing them with positive), constructive statements can transform our lives!

Give it a try? What can it hurt? You might be really suprised at how you start to look at and feel about yourself!

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