Day 22: Body checking and assurance-seeking

Looking at you, you’ll always see what you want to see. Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Think about body-checking and assurance seeking

Thinking (and often over-thinking) about something you are worried about is perfectly human behaviour. Just think about how often do most people wonder if they have switched off the oven or locked the door at home. In such trivial situations, reassurance from a friend or someone who was there can often resolve the situation. But often, if nobody is around to give the reassurance, people worry about the situation unduly.

A similar pattern happens to many people when

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

Day 21: Avoidance of body showing

Don’t allow your mind to bully your body! Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Think about and challenge the short-term consequences of body image issues

So what happens when you are confronted with a trigger for feeling negative about your appearance? You probably have already thought about some likely reactions as part of yesterday’s activity.

For most people, the immediate reactions range from feeling bad or preoccupied with their appearance to avoiding showing their body altogether. In other words, they focus particularly on the reason for the potentially hurtful judgement that may come their way. From an evolutionary perspective, such a behaviour makes a lot of sense: If you see something that may be hurtful or even dangerous, it is good for the mind to concentrate on the danger. For example,

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

Day 20: Triggers

This image has been altered to sell unrealistic ideals. (Anonymous) Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Identify the triggers of body image issues

Yesterday you already looked at some of the consequences of feeling bad about some parts of your body. So that you can tackle these issues successfully, it is useful to  think about what keeps these feelings going or makes them worse. This will help to put those ‘triggers’ into perspective and diminish their impact.

Identifying and challenging those triggers is an important part of overcoming them: As you’ll see,

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

Day 19: Effects of Body Image Issues

If you talked to your friend the way you talk to your body, you’d have no friends left. (Marcia G.… Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Think about the consequences of a negative body image

Yesterday we explored the important difference between body image, the way we see ourselves, and actual appearance, how we actually and factually look like. You may think at this point that having a slightly negative body image isn’t really such a big deal – after all we all have something we don’t like about our bodies. And making changes to your appearance can be, after all, a very good thing: For example, taking up exercise is a brilliant thing to increase self-love (see day 15!).

And while it is true that making changes to your appearance can be beneficial in some cases, body image issues are a very different matter: Although body image

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

Day 18: Body Image

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. (Kahlil Gibran) Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Understand the importance of body image and appearance to self-love.

Over the last 17 days we spend all of the time discussing inner happiness and self-love. Of course, achieving this is a major step towards all-round self-love. But it would be wrong to assume that only inner happiness is complete self love: ultimately self-love is made up of both inner and outer happiness. This means we need to address an often uncomfortable topic: body image. Why? Well… many studies have shown that gay men in particular suffer from negative body image. A whooping 80% of gay men in a recent survey in London reported that they are not happy with their bodies. Gay men are also 7 to 12 times more likely to suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder related problems, serious psychological issue related to a negative body image,  then their straight counter-parts.
There are many reasons for this staggering numbers – from unrealistic body images in the media, especially porn to an apparent focus on body image in the community at large. Whatever the reasons are, fact of the matter is, that even a fairly mildly negative body image can have a devastating, toxic and highly destructive influence on self-love. In turn, leading to sexual, relational and personal problems. This is the reason a significant portion of this workshop is related to body image.

Before going any further though, please stop reading here and complete the activity below. It should only take a few minutes. After you have completed the exercise, continue reading below.

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

 

Day 23: You are beautiful: Body Image

Before we are moving on from life in general, and look more closely at our sexual and relationship/love self, let us take a quick break and look at the body, your body. Survey after survey has shown that body image is a major problem for the modern man – of whatever sexual orientation. However, those that have looked particularly at gay men found that less than half are happy or fairly happy, and just a tiny fraction (less than 3%) are actually happy with their bodies. 81% have tried to change their body shape in a form or another, and almost 50% of gay men in one survey would die early to have a good body – and only 16% of gay men report feeling comfortable at a nudist beach. If you think about this, these numbers are truly shocking.

However, they are not really unexpected: from fashion to porn, from dating sites to going out – we are constantly being bombarded with some form of idealised body image. No wonder so few men feel uncomfortable (in varying degrees) with their bodies, or even want to change just that little bit here and there. But, as we have seen before, even small, seemingly ‘normal’ but definitely negative thoughts, tucked away in the corner of the mind, can become quite toxic.

Therefore today, the activity is to use mindfulness to caringly and with kindness look at your body and make friends with the body you have. I realise that looking at your own body is, in itself, often frowned upon or associated with vanity and narcissistic self-love. But self-delusion isn’t the aim of the activity. Instead, the focus is to reconnect with your body.

To start the activity make sure you have a bit of time to yourself. You’ll also need a small handheld mirror.

Now choose a pleasant environment: it could be your bathroom or bedroom for example. Make it a really pleasant space for this: use some candles to set the mood, or maybe some fragrant oil to make the atmosphere just like as if you would have a very hot and romantic date with someone incredibly hot whom you really want to seduce (hint: you do!).

When the scene is set, take the small mirror and start looking at yourself – first start by focusing on individual body parts. Put yourself in the mindset as if you are looking at the hot date you set everything up for. Slowly discover your body part by part through the mirror. Using mindfulness techniques, take a good look at your different body parts: admire and caress the different parts of your body. Be compassionate about each part you see and focus on the positive of this body part.

Once you have seen all parts of your body individually through the mirror, look at the whole you: see yourself glowing in the candle light. This is your hot date!

Be mindful during this activity that negative emotions or thoughts may appear. If they do, acknowledge the feelings and use mindfulness to shift your thoughts back gently to looking at yourself compassionately and with kindness. If the negative feelings persist take a short break, and use mindfulness techniques to examine your feelings.

Finally, once you have looked at yourself, and given yourself space to admire and caress yourself, thank yourself for the company.

I have tried this exercise with many people before. And many people find it very embarrassing or even strange. If this happens to you, stick with the exercise – don’t avoid looking at you. The vast majority of people who completed the exercise found it extremely empowering, even and especially if they hesitated at first. I hope you find this exercise equally empowering and it reconnects you with the most important person in your life. If it does, why not share your feelings? Use the comment function below – or tweet using #ug30bc … See you tomorrow, when we are going to get sexual!