What do I know!
The science bit is, by doing it and repeating it A LOT (perhaps 200 times a day) you are creating new neural pathways in the brain.
Take for example one of my faves: ‘Ugh, look at me! Check out that spare tyre… or three! I am U… gly. This isn’t good enough and neither am I …’
Of course this opens the door into a whole raft of other grotty thought-sludge, but I digress.
As an aside, we’ve lost one of our foremost thinkers this week and the author who introduced me to a new way of thinking, Louise L. Hay. I want to use her words here:
“How perfect were you when you were a tiny baby. Babies do not have to do anything to become perfect, they already are perfect and they act as if they know it.
Babies also love every part of their bodies, even their own faeces (ew come on Louise!) They have incredible courage.”
We have learnt to look in the mirror and see imperfection. It’s one of my bugbears.
So imagine instead you use the words: “I love my body” when you look in the mirror. To begin with, it won’t seem true because you don’t believe it. It doesn’t matter. Keep doing it. Keep your mind open. You will come to a point where a crack of light peeps through your thoughts and you can imagine (maybe just imagine to begin with) that you could love your body. That it represents a version of beauty that is all your own. That it is real and it’s O.K. to stop whippin it’s ass every time you see it.
The old thoughts have been societally programmed in to you, through false imaging and messages, it wasn’t you. So get those bad boys outta there! See how nice it feels to give yourself permission to like you, to accept yourself and from there the possibilities are incredible!
Hay would write this up as the “support of the universe”, others would attribute it to “natural forces”. In my early days I had real trouble accepting this blurry, snoozy (also true) explanation for how it all works. I needed more…
And I found it in Candace Pert’s Molecules of Emotion: Why you feel the way you feel. (If you’d like something lighter, you can try War and Peace!)
Her neuroscience background has a more scientific explanation, it’s called neuroplasticity.
“When a receptor (the emotional lock in the brain) is flooded with a ligand (the chemical emotional key), it changes the cell membrane in such a way that the probability of an electrical impulse travelling across the membrane – is facilitated or inhibited, thereafter affecting the choice of neural circuitry that will be used”
And a new neural pathway is born… Your brain, and by association, you, are changed.
I’ll leave you with words from Candace:
“Truly original, ground-breaking ideas are rarely welcomed at first.” True dat!