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Article by Infofit

Self-Acceptance Using Movement-Based Mindfulness

Many of us fail when it comes to body acceptance of the “flaws” that make us unique and instead have a steady stream of negative self-talk.

Learning Self-Acceptance

In today’s day and age of social media, television and magazine publications, which all have photo-shopped pictures, it is no wonder we are all self-conscience. Many of us fail when it comes to body acceptance of the “flaws” that make us unique and instead have a steady stream of negative self-talk.  We believe our negative internal voice of criticism that is egged on by unrealistic media images that are unattainable.

How are we supposed to traverse this minefield of unrealistic images and expectations foist on us from all directions? First and foremost, we need to stop accepting media images as being truth and start learning about self-acceptance.

Definition of Self-Acceptance

The definition of self-acceptance is an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself. Self-acceptance includes self-understanding which is a practical and personal understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Self-acceptance sounds the same as self-esteem, however, they are in fact different. Self-esteem refers to how valuable you perceive yourself to be whereas self-acceptance signifies a much deeper and all inclusive confirmation of self.

When you lack self-acceptance, your emotional well-being suffers, which in turn demotivates you and affects your abilities to devise or achieve goals. The biggest reason I see clients not meeting goals is by their lack of ability to simply believe they can accomplish their objective.

Where does this leave the average person? How can you get past the lack of self-acceptance to move onto better focus and success?

To start with, we must learn how to be mindful. Mindfulness is a state of mind that is achieved by concentrating on the present moment, while tranquilly recognizing and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. Many courses or practitioners can teach you how to be more mindful if you need the extra help.

Meditation for Self Acceptance

Many people think of “mindfulness” or meditation as being in a stationary position, however, many people choose to take a much more active approach to meditation. Walking, running, weight training, Yoga and Pilates are all excellent movement-based forms of meditation. All of these activities help to focus the mind, reduce stress and improves your sense of well-being, as well as burns off excess energy, which can help if you also want to do some seated meditation.

When practicing active mindfulness it is important to set an intention at the beginning of the activity to help with focus. The intention can be as simple as a phrase that you repeat throughout the activity. Make sure you are alert prior to active mindfulness, take a moment before your activity to visualize and take several deep breaths. Oxygen from deep breathing helps to shake the brain awake and lets the mind and body integrate and prepare for the activity.

Breathing is an essential part of any activity and can be used as an anchor for focus. One common breathing exercise to calm the mind, is to sit with your back straight, place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth behind the front teeth (keep it there through the entire exercise) then exhale through your mouth around the tongue while pursing your lips slightly. Start out initially by exhaling forcefully and completely through your lips. Then close your mouth and inhale gently through your nostrils for a count of four, hold your breath for seven seconds then exhaling completely and forcefully again for a count of eight. Repeat this breathing pattern for a total of four cycles. Whenever you find yourself getting distracted, just observe the thoughts or emotions passing, and then go back to the four cycle breathing pattern, this will help train the mind to stay in the present moment.

You will find as you can more easily stay focused and present in the moment, that staying on track with healthy activities and eating habits become much more attainable. Achieving a mindful state brings insight and wisdom, helps a variety of medical conditions, and strengthens the immune system. Psychologists find the effects of mindfulness meditation improves critical cognitive skills after only four days of 20 minutes per day.

Once the mind comes into a healthier state, the ability to achieve self-acceptance will come. At this point hiring a personal trainer and nutritionist to continue with the transformation would be beneficial.

Hiring a certified Personal Trainer through Infofit is one of the best investments you can make concerning your overall health and fitness. If you are serious about a future, fueled by healthy eating, increased activity and infinite possibilities then start with your very own Infofit life coach and personal trainer.

Harvard Publication