Updated: Sep 2, 2020
If you’ve ever experienced body-shame, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, then you know how it can make you absolutely, lose your mind... How desperately you want to let it go, and yet how?
According to the National Institute of Health, 1 of 50 people are diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder or “BDD.” I was one of those people. In my youth. It didn't help that nobody around me had a truly spiritual connection with themselves. For all mental dis-order comes from ignorance of oneself.
If you don't know what BDD is, it's a psychological condition with obsessive-compulsive qualities where people become consumed on their bodies, mostly what they consider as “flaws.” The mind imagines or changes parts of the body in such a dramatic way that it leaves one feeling crippled. In some cases, these apparent “defects” are even imagined.
Example, a young woman focuses on her nose and sees that it is too big, or her tummy has “rolls,” or her biceps are “saggy,” yet her best friend considers her perfect. Naturally, or unnaturally rather, this leads to significant eating disorders, social anxiety, low-self esteem, constant negativity, and further psychological complications to the point of even suicidality.
I can tell you, it sucks. I received the diagnoses from my therapist at the age of 13, I would spend hours…2 -3 hours… looking into the mirror as if I was spellbound.
It felt twisted and chaotic, but for some reason, I did it again and again. I scanned the fleshy contour in the long-standing reflection, critiquing myself. Things I didn’t like or most likely made up in my head began consuming my thoughts.
I developed bulimia for a couple of months, but I saw what it did to my throat and gave that up. Then I went to anorexia for a few months. I didn’t eat; I just drank alcohol mixed with Gatorade (not my best moment). One day a brother from another mother told me, looking into mirrors are equal to a fraction of a fraction, etc., of what you truly look like. I immediately felt a wave of energy that snapped me out of it like, “Woah, so what I am seeing isn’t even real.”
How powerful the mind is! It just goes and goes and makes things up and believes that it is actually true when it’s not. It makes up all kinds of distortions to keep us in this negative self-talk that is highly self-sabotaging. The worse thing is that it can become addicting, unconsciously. Like a really, really bad habit you just can’t shake.
(Sidenote: If you ever want to see why your life is the way it is, look at your thought patterns, it will wake you up real fast- In my integrative sessions, we use meditation, reprogramming the mind field in the quantum space to break through barriers/patterns to live a most limitless, natural life. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.)
Exit the Dystopia
According to yogic science, our body is a result of our thoughts. This process happens in the subconscious mind. For example, people that have experienced heartbreak their shoulders begin to hunch inward, and their whole upper body begins to slouch forward. The thoughts maybe, “I need to protect my heart,” or a sense that “my heart feels heavy.” Or perhaps they feel weighted by life and thus their metabolism slows feeling the weight of the world.
Yet, I have seen amazing transformations in my mine and other bodies just by making a few, small shifts & everyday changes.
For example, from sweating to increasing nutrients in the body, to confidence-building exercises, increasing prana or life-force energy, self-love, there comes a glow about the person — an inner beauty, a light that shines through one’s external appearance.
As advised before, if you feel you can relate to this, it is best to contact a mental health professional to give you the most effective treatment (by law I have to say this). By my free will speech: contact a holistic super hue-man to get the multi-dimensional help you need (email@example.com) (For severe cases, it is recommended to experience CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that treats the body through a more holistic approach.)
Meanwhile, here are a few tools I’ve used to exit that diagnosis for good though the essence is the same, and it is this: Let go of the personality trait that makes you resonate with that frequency. This means: re-perceive how you feel about yourself: change your relationship with yourself into a loving, positive, and healthy dynamic.
Move your Body
You need an outlet, a channel to start moving the stuck, discordant energy. Shake it up, and shake it out! Putting on your favorite songs and jumping up and down like a wild banshee may be just the thing you need! Exercise, dance, swim, work-out, run, whatever you need to do to get the endorphins pumping and positive body-image working!
If dancing or jumping around isn’t really your thing, skeletal shaking is! It’s an ancient QI-Gong technique that helps release stored trauma in the body & dissolve negative thoughts. For 2 minutes a day or as needed, gently bounce your body up and down and create small tremors, legs, glutes, back shoulders, arms, wrists hands, head- as if you are freezing cold. Slowly make them bigger. Raise your arms up and shake out you’re hands as if you were a dog shaking out water from a rainy day. Slowly begin to settle the bouncing motion into standing still. Breathe.
I made up the title, but this is anytime your body, breath, and mind are coming into unison. I’ve already mentioned some of the ways above in the “Move your Body” section. Other useful practices include sensory deprivation tanks, yoga, martial arts, painting, playing an instrument, or anything that involves your undivided attention to the point where it doesn’t even feel like you are there. Sometimes they call it getting into the Zone, and I have found it to be one of the most successful.
Drink Lots of Water
This may sound irrelevant, yet it is absolutely necessary. Water is life. We are made of 70% water. Dehydration affects the way we think and move, but it’s an element that corresponds to cleansing, fluidity, & emotion. Speaking positive intent/thoughts into water changes the molecular structure into a crystalline symmetry, whereas before they may have had no particular organization. This was exhibited in the famous microscopic experiments of Dr. Emoto Masurau.
Flood your mirror with positive declarations with colorful mirror writing pens, post-it notes, or lipstick. Draw symbols around them so that you have a visual cue to remember how those affirmations make you feel in your body.
Now that we’re not going out anywhere anytime soon, order some non-toxic Tribal Markers and draw cool patterns, words, on your body. Decorate your body with words of appreciation. Celebrating your body has never been made so easy than now.
There is an ancient practice in Sufism where pirs* wake up and kiss each body part. They kiss it from a high estate of gratitude for even having that body part to kiss! For having a body, we are able to do so much in the world. We are able to re-connect to the best version of our self! We are so fortunate to come with all of our moles, stretch marks, pouches, colors, birthmarks, asymmetrical eye-shapes, and hairs. It means we are alive and that we feel.
The yogi master, Nithyananda Paramahamsa said, “Gratitude is Enough.” Just by having a mental attitude of gratitude so much appreciation can come into our life. What we focus our attention on, energy flows. When we train our minds to be grateful for all that we have, all of our strengths, and positive features, unique features we begin to bring back the healing of self-love. Every little bit counts.
Sometimes putting the words to the paper of feel-good statements isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Your mind comes up with all the “but’s” and “you know it’s not true,” and “look here’s.” The key is writing the thoughts that you believe are already true and working your way to what seems too far stretched for right now. For example, “Every flower is unique. You cannot compare a rose to a Lilly.” That is true. “where he/she may be like a daffodil, I am like a rose.” That is also true. “I am unique, and unique is beautiful.” Also true, “I am beautiful.”
Extra Tip: If even that is too much, begin by journaling exactly how you feel. It’s healthy to be honest with ourselves. Introspection itself is a positive tool. Begin with taking a self-inventory about your experience: When did I start analyzing my body in these ways? What triggered it? What are the most dominant emotions? Where do I feel them in my body? What are the situations that happen before, during, and after feeling this way? Ask yourself, "How would I like to feel in my body?" "What can I do right now that will make me feel good in my body?"
Remember! Compassion is key!
Need an excuse to pamper yourself? Substitute! Rather than hopping on that bandwagon of negative self-talk or analyzing yourself, immediately, infuse your beautiful body with oils, scents, organic fragrances. Try a few drops of an earthy aromatherapy oil like cedar, sage, palo santo. For a cleansing and purifying feel try frankincense or copal. If you are one for the flower power try rose, lavender, & gardenia. Find high-quality suaves, body rubs, and topicals to get rid of high emotional stress.
Self-massaging is a beautiful way to give love back to your body. You don’t need to be a professional masseuse. Either look on Youtube or simply follow what feels good.
Thoughts create a lot of boundaries and self-limiting ideas in the mind. They act like a boa constrictor to life. As seen here in the psychological manifestation of "BDD." By creating space between our thoughts, our awareness can settle down into a space where our mind and body become relaxed. Meditation is a highly generous practice when it comes to healing trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc. Science has proven over and over again the amazing benefits that come with practicing meditation effectively. It is just the clarity, energy, and relaxation that will help you effortlessly feel more confident whole, and balanced every day. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to meditate with ease!
Focus on your Mission
You came here with a special purpose that ONLY YOU can bring. When we focus on our mission to contribute passion and power in life and help service people through our unique skills & talents, naturally our energy becomes more invested in “How can I help?” Instead of “How did I get this way?” Often our distortions are blessings in disguise as they can be used to help others also find healing, wholeness, and balance in their lives.
*pirs — Sufi practitioners