Body neutrality affirmations are a tool to help you build a healthier relationship with your body by focusing on body acceptance and appreciation instead of appearance.
In a culture that glorifies youth, thinness, fitness, able-bodiedness, and attractiveness, these affirmations provide a powerful antidote to societal pressures and help us reclaim our sense of self from external judgments.
In this post, I’ll delve into the importance of body neutrality, its role in body image, and how affirmations can support it. I’ll also provide examples of body neutrality affirmations, guide you in creating your own affirmations, and share tips on incorporating them into your daily routine. Read on to learn more!
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This blog post is intended to be a tool and provide body image support and encouragement. However, it is not a substitute for professional help or medical advice.
If you have or suspect you have an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder, I strongly encourage you to seek the guidance of a qualified professional.
The information provided in this post should not be interpreted or used as medical advice. Always consult your physician or a healthcare professional on matters relating to your health and well-being.
Seeking help is a sign of strength, and we are here to support you on your journey to body acceptance and appreciation.
Content Notes: Some of the cited research may contain weight-stigmatizing language.
What is Body Neutrality?
Before I define body neutrality, let’s discuss why it came about.
Before body neutrality, there was body positivity.
Body positivity, in the way that it is commonly portrayed today, is about “loving the skin you’re in” and broadening the very narrow standard of beauty portrayed in the media.
While the message of body positivity is important and a step in the right direction because representation and inclusivity matter, it has some limitations.
For some, transitioning from body hate to body love might seem unattainable or inauthentic.
Additionally, the messaging of body positivity keeps the importance and the focus on physical appearance, which can impede other aspects of identity and lead to self-objectification.
Because of this, body neutrality came to be.
Body neutrality acknowledges that it’s normal to not always love or even like our appearance but that our bodies still deserve care and respect, even on “bad body image days.” It’s about appreciating our bodies for their capabilities and functionality.
Body neutrality shifts the focus away from appearance to help break the tie between self-worth and physical looks. Your physical appearance is not what makes you valuable.
It acknowledges that our body is just one small part of our overall identity and that other internal qualities serve more importance.
This is especially important for people who may find it difficult to embrace body love and offers a more attainable and authentic alternative.
This doesn’t mean that you stop caring about your appearance. Instead, it acknowledges that appearance is just a small part of your overall identity.
Similarly, It doesn’t mean you can no longer practice appearance-related habits such as wearing makeup or coloring your hair, but rather, these practices are expressions of individuality and creativity rather than just for looking good to other people.
So, while body positivity encourages you to believe that you’re beautiful no matter what and to embrace your unique characteristics, body neutrality states that how you look isn’t as important as your values, characteristics, or happiness in life and doesn’t define your worth.
Note: While functionality appreciation (appreciating what your body is capable of) is an aspect of body neutrality, if you have a disability or have experienced a loss of function, this may feel challenging.
Functionality appreciation isn’t about focusing on the number of things your body can do but rather on the things your body can do. It’s okay to grieve the loss of function or acknowledge your unique challenges AND appreciate the other ways your body supports you.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are a powerful tool to combat negative self-talk and cultivate a more positive mindset.
They are statements or phrases that help to reprogram your subconscious mind. With consistent use, affirmations can help you overcome self-doubt and negative thinking.
Contrary to what is sometimes portrayed, they are not about striving for perfection or bringing impossible tasks to fruition but rather recognizing and celebrating your strengths, beliefs, and values.
They can improve your sense of self-worth to help you cope with challenging situations.
When you use affirmations, you’re essentially encouraging yourself and affirming your values.
This allows you to cultivate a stronger sense of self, helping you navigate life’s challenges more easily and resiliently.
How Affirmations Work
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”Henry Ford
Henry Ford’s quote perfectly summarizes the influence that our thoughts can have on our lives.
Our thoughts are extremely powerful and can influence how we feel and how we act. Our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all interconnected.
When you have negative thoughts, you’re more likely to engage in behaviors that validate them. This creates a cycle that reinforces your negative thoughts and beliefs even further.
Studies have shown that a significant portion of our self-talk tends to be negative.
Sometimes, our negative self-talk and beliefs can become so deeply ingrained that we’re not even conscious of their presence. These thoughts can even act as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Affirmations have the power to change those thoughts. By using positive affirmations, we can reprogram our brains and break free from negative thought patterns.
Why Affirmations are Important for Body Neutrality
In a world that overemphasizes the importance of physical appearance and idealizes a very narrow and unattainable beauty standard, body neutrality affirmations help to shift our focus away from external appearance and towards inner qualities and self-acceptance.
Affirmations can help you overcome negative thoughts and beliefs that may be holding you back. Our thoughts have a strong influence on our lives. Affirmations can help you challenge those thoughts and create new ones to help you develop body neutrality.
When Affirmations Might Not Work for Body Neutrality
While affirmations can be a helpful tool in cultivating body neutrality, they are not the only tool and may not be enough on their own. Incorporating other strategies or seeking support and guidance may be needed.
Also, while the affirmations in the post can be used as a starting place for you, if they don’t resonate or connect with you, they’ll feel like empty statements. Be sure to check out the section on creating your own affirmations that align with your values and experiences, or feel free to jump ahead to that section if you prefer.
50+ Body Neutrality Affirmations
- My body is not an object to be looked at and evaluated.
- My appearance does not determine my self-worth.
- I recognize my body’s incredible ability to support me in daily life.
- My physical appearance does not dictate the richness of my life experiences.
- I choose to prioritize my well-being no matter how I feel about my body.
- My body is a tool for living my life, not an object to be judged.
- My body is resilient and adaptable.
- Focusing on my passions brings me greater joy than shrinking my body.
- Aging is a privilege, not something to be masked or reversed.
- I am deserving of respect.
- My body supports me in everything I do.
- I am more than my body.
- I am grateful for my ability to think creatively.
- My stomach shows signs of creating human life. That’s something to celebrate, not something to “bounce back” from.
- I value my inner qualities above my looks.
- My body is an integral part of my story.
- I respect my body, even on challenging days.
- I deserve care and kindness.
- I am worthy of love and respect, no matter my appearance.
- My happiness is not tied to how I look.
- I appreciate my body’s natural changes as I age.
- I deserve to take up space.
- I celebrate my body’s ability to heal from illness.
- I am grateful for my ability to hug my child.
- I am thankful for my creativity and ability to make beautiful artwork.
- I appreciate my body for allowing me to run a 5k.
- I value connection with others over shared experiences, meaningful conversation, and compassion for each other.
- My body enables me to laugh and share joy.
- I am thankful for my ability to dance.
- I cherish my body for letting me explore the world.
- I appreciate my body’s strength to carry my 50 lb dog when he is injured.
- My mind allows me to learn and grow.
- I am grateful for my body’s ability to feed my newborn.
- My body lets me experience life’s simple pleasures.
- I am thankful for my perseverance to help accomplish milestones in my career.
- I appreciate my body for carrying me through tough times.
- I’m grateful for my increased mobility after my back injury.
- My self-worth transcends societal beauty standards.
- I value my body’s adaptability and resilience.
- I cherish my ability to communicate with friends and family.
- My legs allow me to explore new hiking trails.
- I am in awe of the incredible harmony between my lungs, heart, and other organs, working together to keep me alive and thriving.
- I am thankful for my ability to listen and empathize.
- My body allows me to explore the world’s beauty.
- I value my body for its role in connecting with others.
- I am thankful for my body’s ability to experience pleasure.
- I appreciate my body for the strength it provides.
- My body enables me to share love and kindness.
- I cherish my body’s role in my overall well-being.
- I am grateful for my ability to learn to play the guitar.
- I value my mind for its role in my spiritual journey.
- My tenacity allows me to pursue my passions.
Write Your Own Body Neutrality Affirmations
I hope some of these body neutrality affirmations I’ve shared resonate with you!
These affirmations are a great starting point, but the more impactful affirmations are the ones you write yourself to reflect your own needs, experiences, values, and challenges.
Here are some helpful tips for coming up with your own affirmations:
- Identify unhelpful thoughts without judgment.
Begin by identifying unhelpful thoughts you have regarding body image. Acknowledge these thoughts and bring awareness to them without judgment. Are there any trends or patterns? Use these thoughts as the foundation for your affirmations.
- Use “I” statements.
When writing your affirmations, use “I” (or “my” and “me”) statements such as “I am,” “I will,” or “I trust.”
- Align them with your values.
Make sure that the affirmations resonate with you and align with your values. Ask yourself if the current thought you’re having aligns with your values or moves you further away. What’s a statement that aligns more with your values?
For example, if family is one of your values, and you’re worried about attending a family gathering because you’re feeling self-conscious about some weight you’ve gained, remind yourself of the value you place on family connection. Instead of focusing on your appearance, choose affirmations like “My presence with my family matters more to me than my appearance.” “I choose to create memories and be in the moment rather than worry about my appearance.”
- Choose body neutrality affirmations that feel authentic.
If you’re currently struggling with negative feelings about your body, reciting affirmations like “I’m beautiful” may seem insincere or unconvincing. Instead, opt for affirmations that acknowledge your current feelings and emphasize something that feels more authentic or attainable. For example, “Even though I’m feeling down about my body, I still deserve nourishment” or “My value extends far beyond my appearance.”
- Use neutral statements.
Similarly, if positive statements feel too challenging, start with neutral statements that are easier to believe for you.
- Keep the affirmations concise.
Keep your affirmations short, meaningful, and easy to remember.
- Write them before tough moments.
Write down your affirmations before tough moments. It can be hard to come up with them in the heat of the moment.
- Give examples.
When unhelpful thoughts are rooted in core beliefs, they can be challenging to overcome. Typically they arise from past experiences, which can validate those beliefs. Your past experiences give you examples to support your beliefs.
To make your affirmations more effective, try finding examples that support the positive statements as well. For example, If you’re working with the affirmation “I am more than my appearance,” remind yourself of moments when you were praised or appreciated for your non-physical qualities, such as your kindness, intelligence, or creativity. Remembering these instances can help you internalize the belief that your worth extends beyond your physical looks.
- Update your body neutrality affirmations as needed.
Regularly reassess and adjust your affirmations to reflect your current challenges and growth. Your needs and perspective will likely change over time.
- Don’t overthink it.
Writing and using affirmations can feel intimidating at first but don’t stress too much over it. It’s a process that gets easier with practice. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
How to Use Body Neutrality Affirmations
Now that you’ve come up with some body neutrality affirmations that resonate with you, it’s time to start using them. Here’s how to start incorporating your affirmations:
- Make your affirmations a habit.
Incorporate affirmations into your daily routine. Choose a time of day when you can dedicate a few minutes to repeating your affirmations. This can be when you wake up, during your morning coffee, or before bed. Tip: saying them in the morning can start your day on a positive note.
- Use affirmations before a challenging situation.
If you know you’ll be entering a situation that usually triggers negative thoughts about food or your body, try using affirmations beforehand.
- Repeat them consistently.
Consistency is key when it comes to affirmations. They’re not a quick fix. You won’t see changes after one time. It takes time and practice.
- Visualize your affirmation.
As you repeat your affirmation, visualize yourself living out the words.
- Align your behaviors with your affirmations.
Our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings are all interconnected. When your actions reflect your beliefs and values, you reinforce your affirmations and make them more impactful.
Final Thoughts on Incorporating Body Neutrality Affirmations and Next Steps
Affirmations are a useful tool for cultivating body neutrality. By using them consistently, you can help reprogram your mind and develop a more positive relationship with your body.
I hope this post gave you the boost you need to start crafting your own affirmations and using them on your body image journey!
If you’re interested in learning more about body image or Intuitive Eating, be sure to check out some of these other blog posts:
- 100+ Intuitive and Mindful Eating Affirmations to Help Combat Negative Self-Talk
- Overcome Bathing Suit Anxiety – Tips from an Intuitive Eating Dietitian
- Intuitive Eating for Weight Loss [Everything you Need to Know]
- Intuitive Eating Before and After [What to Expect When You Start Intuitive Eating]
- Looking for an Intuitive Eating Coach? Read this!
- Why Intuitive Eating Doesn’t Work: An Expert’s Perspective
- The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating [A Complete Guide + Free PDF]
If you’re looking for personalized support, I offer one on one body image and Intuitive Eating counseling services to help you find food freedom and body confidence. My one-on-one services are tailored to your specific needs and concerns. We work to develop a plan together that will help you achieve your goals and fit into your life. Whether you’re looking to break free from the diet cycle, overcome emotional or binge eating, or start treating your body with respect and kindness, I’m here to help.
Kristin is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and Certified Personal Trainer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics with a concentration in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She has experience conducting systematic reviews and writing and evaluating scientific literature in peer-reviewed journals. She has a goal of making evidence-based nutrition information accessible and easy to understand.