Wearing a women’s bathing suit out in public can be a fraught experience for many after all, it is kind of like wearing ladies’ panties in public—and negative self-talk can compound the anxiety. However, affirmations can help retrain your mind to engage in more positive self-talk. Below, we explain what affirmations are, offer some body-positive affirmations for swimsuit season, and cover some tips for writing your own affirmations.
Why Affirmations Are Helpful
Affirmations are short, positive statements designed to shift your thinking patterns into a more constructive rhythm. All of us have a constant stream of self-talk going on in our heads, both conscious and subconscious. For most of us, especially women, this self-talk runs in a very negative vein. Even if we’re not always fully aware of it, we constantly criticize ourselves about the way we look, dress, eat, talk, walk and act.
Affirmations are designed to move your mind into a more positive place and slowly train yourself over time to practice more positive self-talk. You can say them silently or out loud—or write them on sticky notes and place them on your bathroom mirror, so you see them every morning before you get ready. We recommend choosing five to 10 affirmations that really resonate with you and making a habit of saying them to yourself at least twice a day, when you wake up and when you go to sleep (you can do it more than once a day, though). It only takes three to five minutes each session, so it’s really not that much of your time.
The key to affirmations is to be consistent about them and to practice them regularly. It’s taken years to build up your self-talk patterns, so you can’t expect them to change overnight after you say a couple of body-positive things to yourself. But if you keep at it, you will likely see results over time.
If you need some inspiration, here are 20 affirmations to get you started centered on body image and a bathing suit. You can tweak them to make them more specific to you. In fact, the more specific the affirmations are to you as an individual, the more they will affect your thought patterns.
- I love my body, and I love myself.
- I deserve to be treated with love and respect, and so does my body.
- I am perfect, whole, and complete just the way I am.
- I look amazing in whatever I wear, including my bathing suit.
- Food is neither good nor bad. It has no moral value on its own.
- Food is not the enemy, nor is it my friend. It doesn’t have power over me. I have power over it.
- I thank the food that I ate today for nourishing my body and giving me energy.
- My weight or my appearance doesn’t define my worth. I am worthy no matter what I look like.
- All I need to do to get a “beach body” is go to the beach.
- I don’t need to cover up my scars, wrinkles, stretch marks, or cellulite. In fact, I cherish them because they all represent living.
- I look exactly the way I am supposed to.
- I can be healthy at any size.
- I am confident in my body and my appearance.
- I am comfortable in my own skin.
- My quirks and imperfections are what make me unique.
- I accept myself completely, inside and out.
- I thank my body for carrying me around and allowing me to (swim, walk, picnic, etc.) today.
- Magazine photos are airbrushed and photoshopped, and I don’t expect my body to look like that, in a swimsuit or otherwise.
- I don’t have to wait to live my life or do activities like going to the beach until I look different than I do. I can and will do them starting right now.
- Today, I will take care of my body by putting on sunscreen and enjoying a relaxing day by the beach!
Tips for Coming Up with Your Own Affirmations
If none of the body-positive affirmations above really resonate with you, you may want to come up with your own affirmations from scratch. Here are some tips for writing your own affirmations:
- Write it in the first person. Writing it in the third person will distance you from it, which is the exact opposite of an affirmation’s purpose. Get comfortable with centering yourself!
- Write it in the present tense, not past or future. This helps you to visualize the feelings or outcome as if it has already happened. As an example, don’t say “I will be happy,” but rather, “I am happy.”
- Phrase the affirmations positively and avoid negative wording. For instance, instead of saying, “I won’t let other people tell me how to feel about my body,” say, “I tell myself how to feel about my body.”
- Make them specific to you and what you want your life to look like. Keeping with the bathing suit theme, you could say, “I will wear my yellow flower bikini to the beach and I will feel great about myself while I do it.”
- Keep them short and sweet. The longer an affirmation gets, the less removable it is. If you tend to ramble, take this as an opportunity to practice being concise and punchy.
- Make it personal to you. For affirmations to work, they really need to resonate with you. If some of the more general ones listed above don’t work for you, try writing your own to see if that works better.
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