Trigger Warning: Body shame and body dysmorphic disorder type issues. These are meditations designed to help with this, but I didn’t want anyone to wander in unawares.
I’ve never had a good relationship with my body, and have a great deal of internalised guilt, shame and hatred around how I look. I’ve been working with a meditative approach for a while now, and I’ve found it helpful. This is a broad explanation, you will likely need to fine tune it to suit personal needs and issues. Be really alert to not letting words in that reinforce the problem rather than easing it.
I find this is easiest lying down, but again, adapt as makes sense. Pick a quiet, safe environment. Do whatever you do to enter a calm and meditative state. If you can, put a hand on one area of yourself that you have a problem with. Just stay there for a while, and breathe slowly with it. Focus on being calm.
I started this process simply being repeating the words ‘I forgive’. Inevitably this can cause memories and feelings to come up, so I took to creating a longer stream of thoughts. “I forgive, I accept, I let go,” works for me. I’ve found if I try to use really strong positive words ‘love’ for example, I am more likely to panic myself. “You are ok, you are good enough, you are acceptable” is more effective for me than anything I cannot accept. I don’t do well with conventional affirmations, suggesting to myself that ‘I am beautiful’ makes me feel panicky and sick. It’s not a good idea to try and run when you can’t walk.
The nature of your relationship with your body will inform the kinds of words you need to use, and if you explore this, you may find things emerge for you that you can work through in this way. It is essential to be able to hold clear intent around self-acceptance, and not let abusive, corrosive language slip in. You don’t have to make excessively enthusiastic statements about yourself, and you may find it easier not to, certainly at first. “This is my body and I accept it and am ok with it” is a very powerful, affirmative statement if you have a lot of trouble owning and accepting your physical form.
Ideally, you need to think about what would be helpful without getting too bogged down in the problems themselves. I find that one body area in a session is plenty to be working on, and that moving around different areas of shame and discomfort over different sessions is helpful. It can bring things up so I only do it when I feel equal to dealing with what emerges. I usually work quietly, but saying things out loud is also powerful and worth exploring.