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15 Best Body-Positive Affirmations

Mental health professionals say these words of affirmation can improve your self-confidence.

No matter what you look like, it's not alway easy to feel good about your body. You may always feel like there's something to change, whether that means losing weight or smoothing over fine lines. But what if you could embrace self-acceptance at any size? Repeating positive statements, also known as affirmations, to yourself every day can be one of the best ways to help you combat negative thoughts and regain confidence. Not sure where to start? Read on for the 15 best body-positive affirmations to help you feel great about your body at any age.

RELATED: The Power of Positive Self-Talk: 4 Science-Backed Reasons Affirmations Work.

"My body is the vessel I get to experience my life in."

Two men walking side by side, conversing, in the city outside a building, carrying backpacks.

All too often, we view our bodies through the narrow lens of their aesthetic qualities. Experts say that by focusing on the things your body allows you to experience instead, you can start to move past negative body image.

"Your body has allowed you to do everything you have ever done: hugged a friend, witnessed a sunrise, enjoyed a meal, or ridden a bike," says Anne Poirier, director of behavioral health at Hilton Head Health. "If we can stop and think about all our body has allowed us to see, hear, feel, smell, taste, touch, and experience, we can shift away from criticism and toward gratitude."

Maryland-based clinical therapist Sarah Puskavich, LCPC, agrees that this is an especially powerful affirmation.

"We can get stuck in the mindset that in order to feel confidence or be deserving of certain experiences, our bodies have to fit certain standards. This mindset can lead us to feeling at war with ourselves," she says. "Instead, focusing on what our body provides for us and how it connects us to the world fosters a sense of self-connection and gratitude, which positively impacts confidence."

"My body deserves respect."

Portrait of beautiful happy senior woman outdoors

Recognizing that bodies of all ages and stages—including yours—deserve respect is a critical step on the path to a healthier self-image.

"When we are judgmental and critical of the body, we only see what is wrong with it, and when those are our thoughts, we begin to believe them, focus on them, and embody them," Poirier says, noting that this leads to a snowball effect of negative self-talk.

She explains that by believing our bodies are "wrong," "fat," or "ugly," we single ourselves out as less-than. By embracing a mantra of respect instead, you can begin to let go of those judgmental and degrading feelings that can lead to self-destructive behaviors.

"Being critical of my body keeps me trapped in self-loathing. I deserve happiness."

Upset Young Man with Crossed Arms

Recognizing just how damaging poor body image can be for your mental health is a powerful first step in overcoming it.

"The reality is that regardless of our body's appearance, we can always find a reason to criticize ourselves, creating a never-ending loop of self-loathing," Puskavich shares. "By letting go of criticism, we are opening up space for other things in our lives to bring us happiness. Letting go doesn't necessarily mean we have to love ourselves, but even body neutrality can help a person feel good within themselves."

RELATED: 14 Daily Affirmations for a Happy Marriage.

"All bodies change over time—and that's OK."

happy older woman with longer hair on swing
wundervisuals / iStock

Change is inevitable—and that includes the changes that your body experiences over time. Puskavich says that by embracing those changes with curiosity and openness rather than criticism, you can create a better relationship with your body.

"We live in a culture obsessed with trying to look young forever, which creates unrealistic expectations for how our bodies will change over time," she tells Best Life. "Remember when you were a child, how exciting it was to watch how tall you grew or see when you lost a tooth? Bringing that nonjudgmental curiosity into our current lives helps ease the societal pressures of trying to look young forever because we're tapping into acceptance that change will happen."

"I am worthy of love and respect exactly as I am." – Yuri A / Shutterstock

Sometimes, the key to feeling great in your body has very little to do with the physical self. Remembering that you are worthy of love and respect without having to change a single thing about you can help you release negative thinking patterns, according to Chicago-based counselor Amy Braun, LCPC.

"This affirmation reminds you that your worth isn't determined by your appearance," she notes. "By acknowledging your value—just as you are—you can boost your self-esteem and feel more confident in your skin. Recognizing your worthiness helps you increase self-love and acceptance."

"I appreciate my body's strength and resilience."

older couple getting ready to exercise
Harbucks / Shutterstock

Braun also recommends this affirmation, which she says can boost your confidence by recognizing the power your body holds beyond physical appearance.

"This affirmation acknowledges the remarkable feats your body can accomplish, whether it's dancing, hiking, creating art, giving birth, or even just getting through the challenges of everyday life," she explains. "By focusing on your body's capabilities rather than its appearance, you shift your mindset toward gratitude and awe for what your body can achieve."

Poirier suggests highlighting the particular body parts you feel are especially strong and powerful as well. For instance, "Seeing and thinking about the strength of your legs sends the message to the brain that not only are your thighs strong, but you are also more capable of doing things," she says.

"I embrace and celebrate my body's uniqueness."

Young woman pointing at herself in the mirror

Today's beauty standards often demand that we all change ourselves to fit the mold of perfection. But Braun says it's important to push back on this notion by embracing the features that make you unique.

"Focusing on your body's uniqueness encourages you to appreciate what sets you apart from others," she suggests. "Embracing your body's individuality can shift your perspective from comparison to celebrating your distinct features."

"Hating my body doesn't change it."

close-up of girl sitting in tank top

Some people think of their own self-loathing as a motivational tool that will bring them closer to their ideal body. This is a disordered way of thinking and couldn't be further from the truth.

"Reminding yourself that hating your body is not going to change the way that your body looks is very important," Jill Gulotta, MS, RDN, founder and owner of Jill Gulotta Nutrition, explains.

In reality, negative self-talk can have a physical effect on your body by raising your stress hormone cortisol, she cautions. Instead, centering on the positive aspects of fitness—from better heart health to improved mood—can create a more sustainable approach.

"By repeating this mantra, you can minimize the negative self-talk, lower your stress hormones, and have a better chance of achieving the body image you want," Gulotta shares.

RELATED: 9 Affirmations to Always Stay Positive.

"My body is a reflection of my life journey and experiences."

older senior couple laughing
Canon Boy / Shutterstock

As our bodies age, it's easy to view physical changes as a negative development. However, Torre Boyd, MS, LPC, NCC, founder of Master Plan Therapy, suggests using this affirmation to remind yourself that all of those changes are a meaningful reflection of your life up until this point.

"This allows you to see your body as a story of your life so far," she says. "By embracing your body's history and what it's brought you through, you can build a sense of appreciation and acceptance for it."

"I can work on my body while loving its current state."

Two women exercising in the city.

Working toward better fitness and loving yourself are not mutually exclusive. The reality is that striving for better physical and mental health go hand in hand.

Kaylee Crafton, MSW, a social worker who works with Redeemed Mental Health, says this affirmation serves as a reminder that you can be actively working on your body while showing yourself love and appreciation. By looking at yourself as a whole being whose physical and mental needs are in alignment, you can feel great in body, mind, and spirit.

"My worth has nothing to do with my appearance or looks."

young girl delivering her mother presents, flowers, and happy birthday wishes – Yuri A/Shutterstock

We hear so much talk about our appearance that it can be hard to remember that there's more to us than just how we look. But this simple affirmation can help you do just that, according to  Connor McKemey, a burn survivor who is now a motivational speaker and author who regularly speaks on mental health and body image.

"Our ever-changing bodies are not the be all and end all of our relationships with each other and ourselves," he reiterates. "Those who truly care for you will always see more than just that outward appearance."

"I love how I feel in this outfit."

Preparing for New Year celebration

It's good to tell yourself positive affirmations that really resonate with you—after all, those are going to be the most effective, Rachel Goldberg, LMFT, founder of Rachel Goldberg Therapy in Studio City, California, says.

For example, if you feel good in an outfit, say that out loud.

"It's important to note that research on body positivity affirmations has mixed results and their effectiveness largely depends on personal resonance," Goldberg explains. "Simply reciting a list of affirmations without genuine connection won't lead to long-term benefits."

"I am enough."

Bearded man looking away with a smile on his face in a studio. Happy young man standing alone against a studio background. Body positive man feeling comfortable in his natural body.

Sometimes the simplest affirmations can pack just as much of a punch. Wellness coach Jenni Grover says her favorite simple affirmation to use is "I am enough."

"When I'm feeling frustrated and comparing myself to someone physically, it's powerful to pause and remember my values," Grover shares. "When I act in alignment with them, everything makes more sense."

RELATED: 8 Affirmations to Feel Ridiculously Happy Every Day in Retirement.

"I am worthy of taking up space."

Portrait of beautiful smiling woman in sportswear

When working with people to reframe how they feel about their body, clinical hypnotherapist Olivia Dreizen Howell tells Best Life that she likes to use the phrase, "I am worthy of taking up space."

"We are so culturally taught that you should be small—your body, your voice, your dreams—that we work so hard to create this false smallness and it's exhausting," she says. "I love using this phrase as a body positive affirmation because you are a human and deserve to take up space on this planet."

"My body is an instrument, not an ornament."

Group of females taking a selfie near the river in the city

Getting creative with your affirmations can make a major difference, too. A top recommendation from Regina Lazarovich, PhD, clinical psychologist and founder of Compass CBT Psychology, PC, is the statement, "My body is an instrument, not an ornament."

"This affirms that our bodies are not objects to be decorated and admired but rather what allows us to do the things we value in this world," she says.

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This story has been updated to include additional entries, fact-checking, and copy-editing.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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