What is Body Neutrality? How do you Practice it?
I was always judged for having a clumsy body. No matter how much exercise I do or how much dieting I do, the fat never leaves me! Someone introduced me to the concept of body positivity. If I tell you, body positivity used to be an ideal way of cultivating relationships with our bodies.
However, there is a new term, body neutrality! Body neutrality is the new concept of considering your body as a healthy body so that we can engage with our physical selves as well. The best part I like about body neutrality is that it does not tell you to love your body or practice self-love! It is something different than other body-positive ideas.
This article covers the movement of body neutrality; it also tells you how body neutrality differs from body positivity along with how you can accept this concept for radiating positivity within your body. So, let’s get started.
What is Body Neutrality?
The concept of body neutrality is based on the idea of acceptance. It tells us to accept our bodies as it is and its current form. Body neutrality totally differs from body positivity as it does not ask us to get indulged in mantras, self-love, or positive talk.
Moreover, it asks us to encourage our body of what it is capable of performing, it asks us to acknowledge that if we try to focus more on positivity, it might turn into toxic positivity and it may not function properly as it is doing right now.
Body neutrality focuses on attaching more yourself with your body and it totally discourages fretting about your physical appearance. It asks us to see our body as a functioning group of organs. As per research, people are more engaging with body neutrality than the movement of body positivity.
Differences between Body Neutrality and Body Positivity
|Body Neutrality||Body Positivity|
|Body neutrality encourages us to appreciate our body as it is and its functionality.||Body positivity is based on physical appearance.|
|Body neutrality also focuses on accepting our bodies as they are functioning well and they are helping us to live.||Body positivity is based on “everyone is beautiful.”|
|The concept of body neutrality brings more happiness and peace to the people with marginalized bodies.||Body positivity focuses on encouraging people to love their physical selves.|
|Frequent headaches or muscle aches||Feeling dizzy or short of breath|
|It is not based on self-love.||Only fits people with typical beauty standards.|
Examples of Body Neutrality
Body neutrality definitely does not revolve around moving your body to burn off the calories you might have consumed, it revolves around listening to your body and knowing its needs. Below are some examples of body neutrality to understand the term better:
Example 1: Understanding the needs of your body
Suppose, you have a rough day at work, your whole body is feeling cramped, and now you have to rush to Pilates class. You simply, grab a detox water, sit on the couch, think about your day, and make yourself a good meal.
Example 2: Letting your intuitions guide you
Body neutrality is not about making unhealthy choices but it means letting your intuitions guide you and doing what makes you happy and mindful at the moment. Suppose, you had a heated argument with your loved one, and now you’re feeling sad about it so you grab a burger and fries and limit your craving the next day after venting out all your emotions.
How to Practice Body Neutrality:
Here are some ways to accept your body as it is with the concept of body neutrality:
Acceptance does not come quickly. To change the mindset and accept your body as it is, you can start communicating with yourself. You have to adapt a neutral mindset wherein you can start with:
- Acknowledging the functionality of your body
- Acknowledging the sickness or illness you might have
- By performing self-love activities that uplift your neutrality about your body
2. Mindful Communication
Sadly, we live in a society wherein everyone has their different point of view about an ideal body. However, we are slowly moving towards suppressing unrealistic standards. In such cases, mindful conversation with others can help you and others to understand the concept of body neutrality. If it begins to be toxic, simply quit such conversations.
3. Eating Healthy
When I say body neutrality, it does mean you can adopt unhealthy eating habits. It is also about eating healthy and concentrating more on your physical self and taste buds. Choosing the right food for your body will enhance your physical wellbeing. I am not asking you to diet. It’s just I am telling you to eat healthy which suits your body.
Of course, you can wear anything that is comfortable for you. Don’t let judgmental notions come into your mind. However, you can choose such dresses which present your inner self and makes you comfortable. Do not let fashion or unrealistic standards ruin your comfort.
Every human being gets benefits from movement. You might not be an exercise person, however, to keep your body fit, get comfy towards exercising. I am not asking you to burn fat, it’s just to keep your body active and choose activities that bring joy. You can try:
- Roller skating
- Dance party
- Dance class
- Learning musical instruments
6. Social engagement
We cannot deny the fact that social media is complex. I know it helps us to stay connected with our loved ones but on the other hand, it also presents unrealistic body positivity. If someone is promoting such content, you can simply just unfollow them or mute them on social media.
Body Neutrality Affirmations to Practice Body Neutrality:
- Everyone’s body is perfect and mine is perfect too.
- Self-love begins with choosing healthy foods.
- I accept and acknowledge my imperfections unconditionally.
- I aim to become someone I care about a lot.
- I may not be perfect but I am still lovable as a human being.
- I am a kind, comfortable, loving, and affectionate person toward my body.
- I am learning to care for my body and I am thankful for my body.
- I am worthy of love regardless of what my body looks like.
- I accept my body and thereby, I release all judgments.
- I respect, value, and honor my body.
Mental Health Benefits of Practicing Body Neutrality
Below are some common mental health benefits of practicing body neutrality:
1. Reduces stress
Chronic or everyday stress related to issues or problems can negatively impact our mental wellbeing. Whenever someone feels stressed about their body, it results in chronic stress. We cannot deny the fact that people are actually struggling for decades due to their body or how their body appears.
When someone accepts their body naturally and starts practicing body neutrality, it results in reduced stress and our body also stops producing stress hormone (cortisol).
2. Enhances intuition
One important benefit of body neutrality includes eating whatever your body requires. In order to do that successfully, people connect with their bodies on a deep level. Intentionally, eating serves as a major change in their life. When someone starts eating mindfully, they also open the doors for heating and listening mindfully. Overall, it enhances the general intuition.
3. Less judgment
We all tend to judge our bodies and stopping this habit is a bit hard for all of us. We tend to believe ideal body appearance matters according to social media. While practicing body neutrality, we stop judging our own bodies against all the odds. When we stop judging ourselves or our bodies, we become naturally happy and less judgmental.
4. More empathy
When we judge less and our criticism side works less, we open ourselves towards less judgment and more empathy. Therefore, less judgment helps in developing more sense of empathy towards ourselves, our body appearance, and others as well.
5. Reduces reactionary responses
When someone comments negatively on our body or we self-criticize ourselves, we tend to experience anxiety or stress. By practicing body neutrality will be able to positively react to different situations in our life.
6. Improves mood
By practicing body neutrality, there are fewer chances of stress and anxiety which results in improved mood. Moreover, less stress, less judgment, and better intuition are pretty good mood boosters and it makes the process of body neutrality smooth and easy.
7. Reduces anxiety
When we spend less time stressing over our bodies, it leads to reduced anxiety. Indeed, body neutrality is an anxiety reducer. Body neutrality results in a positive outlook, less anxiety, and overall improved wellbeing.
I hope this blog helps you to understand and practice body neutrality. Comment down and let us know how body neutrality helped you to accept your body as it is.
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Thanks for reading!