Positive Body and Health Affirmations: A cold hard truth

Everywhere you turn, people are talking about the enormous benefit of staying positive and focusing on gratitude as you work through your healing journey.

While a more positive mindset certainly speeds the body in healing and helps us reach our health goals more quickly, we must step into this more positive frame of mind so it doesn’t inspire shame or guilt especially when we don’t physically see evidence of the healing right away.

In other words, there is a level of toxic positivity out there that says if we just state the positive over and over and over again then eventually, we will be happy, healthy, balanced, content. Just THINK it and it will come true. 

Not so fast.

That’s just not true for most people and this mentality can actually leave us feeling disempowered and guilty for our inability to heal in the snap of a finger.

As an example of this, you just can’t go from here to here with positive affirmations around health…

Going from here… To here…
My body is failing me. I will never have the health I desire. My body is amazing and I am so healthy and vibrant it’s ridiculous!

Instead, we have to consider that health affirmations should be built on an individualized continuum that’s believable to our present self in relationship to where we stand emotionally moment by moment.

For example, we can quickly identify when something is a “toxic positive affirmation” for us by simply noticing how it feels in the body.  For the person starting out in a space of despair with their health, “My body is failing me. I will never have the health I desire,” to move to “My body is amazing and I am so very healthy” it will likely feel very unbelievable and somewhat unachievable to this person. The leap is far too big and the result is a FEELING of discord and disharmony. Exactly OPPOSITE of what the goal is. This gives positive affirmations a really bad rap.   

When this happens, it’s much more helpful to go more general and find statements that elicit even slightly more positive emotions. Another way of looking at it is finding a new thought that provides relief.  Going from despair to joy is not realistic, but going from despair to just a hint of relief with a slightly more general thought can be helpful.

Let’s take a closer look at the first example and provide some more general statements that can provide relief and a slightly more positive outlook.

This example illustrates that there are more general statements or affirmations that can, emotionally, take us a tiny step closer to our goal, but not in a way that promotes resistance and resentment.

Try going from here…

My body is failing me. I will never have the health I desire.

To here…

  • I have the potential for better health.
  • I am getting better and better at taking care of myself every day, little by little.
  • Already, I can feel small improvements in my body, even if I can’t see it in the mirror.
  • I like the idea of feeling better.
  • I am looking forward to my healing journey ahead.
  • I love knowing that I can dream of a better life for myself.
  • I love knowing that I don’t have to force myself to be healthy at this very moment and I trust the right tools and resources will come onto my path in perfect timing.

So, to reiterate, when we are in a space or feeling of frustration around our health goals and body shape, it’s important to find more general or more believable statements about our self that are relatable and bring us to an even slightly better frame of mind.

With this said, there is another important note. It’s worth recognizing that we are SUPPOSE to feel negative emotions as they are a very integral part of our human journey. Without darkness, we cannot see light, without sadness, we cannot fully embrace joy. Learning to honor these different emotional states is an important feature of feeling more grounded as we navigate the wobble from emotion to emotion.

Working with our emotions can promote positive changes in our biochemistry and health if it’s done in a way that moves us up the continuum from a place of non-resistance.  Emotions are our personal navigation system and if we spend some time getting curious about them and massaging the more positive feelings, our entire world can change.

You May Also Like…

Who the heck is Beth?

Who the heck is Beth?

We have quite a few new members in here, so I thought I'd take a quick minute to reintroduce myself if you're new to the community... A longer read but I hope it helps you get a feel for why this community exists. On paper, I am a Registered Dietitian with training in...

I enjoyed two giant servings of spaghetti

I enjoyed two giant servings of spaghetti

I enjoyed two giant servings of spaghetti (because it was delicious) this weekend and trusted my body to self regulate… and it did. Do you want that too? About 10 years ago, gorging on a meal left me feeling depressed, sickened, and fearful of getting on the scale the...

Would you follow your doctor’s advice if it made you sicker?

If you just got sick and the doctor suggested a cure to you that would make you SICKER, would you follow it? ​ It's kind of like asking you if your friend were to jump off a bridge, would you follow her? right? ​ I expect your answer is probably that you WOULD NOT...