It may seem silly, but the science is in: Body positive affirmations, or telling giving yourself words of encouragement, actually do work. Data published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shows that folks who regularly utter these mantras are more likely to succeed on many counts—from meeting weight loss goals to boosting motivation—while research out of Carnegie Mellon University found that positive affirmations lead directly to increased task performance. (Leaders in the spirituality space—if that’s more your speed—also affirm the use of body positive affirmations.)
Still, even if you’re ready to start deploying some affirmations, it can be tough to choose a starting point; after all, between all of the self-help gurus and positivity-minded “influencers,” there are thousands of viable phrases out there. With that in mind, we’ve cobbled together the best of the best—body positive affirmations from wellness experts and red-carpet celebrities that are certain to help you complete your goals and live your best life. Repeat them like you’re a broken record. And if you need help implementing them on the regular, master the 40 Ways to Develop New Habits After 40.
“You are bold, you are brilliant, and you are beautiful.”
If it works for one of the world’s most prolific models, it’ll work for you. As Ashley Graham told People, this is her go-to each morning. And for more ways to make the most of every day, learn the 20 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Needs to Be.
“I am youthful and timeless.”
It’s near impossible to believe, but Jennifer Lopez is 48 years old. Her magic secret? Each and every morning, she repeats this mantra. “It sounds like clichéd [nonsense], but it’s not: Age is all in your mind,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. And for more inspiring stories, check out how This Man Lost 70 Pounds and Now Looks Like a Disney Prince—Photos.
“I want to feel focused and calm and not overwhelmed.”
This is what Kathy McCabe, certified life coach, suggests saying each morning to boost motivation levels into the stratosphere. And for more ways to get out of bed daily with superhuman vigor, learn the 50 Ways to Be A Higher-Energy Person Immediately.
“I love ___ about myself.”
Yes, everyone has stuff to be self-conscious of. But, on the flip side, everyone has at least one feature they’re proud of. So, whether it’s something as small as the curls of your hair or something as major as the glow of your skin, affirm that on the regular. Focus on the positive. And for more positivity, learn the 70 Genius Ways to Boost Your Confidence.
“It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.”
Louise Hay practically invented the concept of positive affirmations with the publication of her landmark text, Heal Your Body, in 1976. If you’re ever feeling down about your appearance—your weight, your acne—just repeat one of her classics. And for more choice life advice, learn the 30 Genius Tricks That Will Make Your Life Easier.
“I am going to make you so proud.”
Before workouts, this is the go-to positive affirmation of Christmas Abbot, the author of The B*dass Body Diet: The Breakthrough Diet and Workout for a Tight Booty, Sexy Abs, and Lean Legs. Considering that she’s a nationally ranked Olympic-level lifter, we’d say these words do the trick.
“You are the beholder.”
As she revealed to InStyle, this is the phrase that Salma Hayek deploys to boost her self-image. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. So become the beholder. And for more on Hayek, check out the 20 Celebrities Way Older Than You Thought.
“You deserve to love yourself. You deserve to feel comfortable and confident.”
Body positivity activist Iskra Lawrence stripped down to her underwear on a New York City subway to prove a point about body acceptance—that it’s essential to cherish your own skin and body. The fuel behind that superhuman confidence? These words. And if you’re your own worst enemy on this front, try culling the 15 Daily Habits That Are Killing Your Confidence.
“I love the way I feel when I take good care of myself.”
Among positivity apps, ThinkUp is among the most popular on both iTunes and Google Play. The app records the affirmations in your voice so you can literally hear yourself affirming…yourself. (It takes a day or so to get used to.) This phrase is among the first the app will have you perform.
“I am love. I am purpose. I was made with divine intention.”
Rebekah Borucki kicked off a serious Instagram trend with her #lookhowdopemylifeis hashtag. This phrase is one of her go-to sayings.
“I’ve done something spectacular. I’m a superhero.”
For any moms out there who may feel self-conscious about a post-pregnancy body, look to Kristen Bell for the secret. As the The Good Place star told TODAY, “When I look down, even now, at the extra skin on my belly, it’s a reminder that I’ve done something spectacular. It’s a reminder that I’m a superhero. And I’m proud of it.”
“My projection is my perception.”
This mantra is a cornerstone of the Gabrielle Berntstein—author of bestselling happiness guide Judgement Detox—oeuvre. By changing how you perceive yourself, you’ll change how you’re perceived.
“I was made this way.”
This is the mantra Orange is the New Black star Dascha Polanco repeated before wearing a revealing outfit—little more than a bodysuit and a duster—to a fashion opening.
“I am grateful for all the things I can do.”
Yet another classic example of focusing on the positive. Instead of bemoaning, for example, that you can’t run a half marathon, be proud of the fact that you can crush a 5k.
“I am beautiful, in every single way.”
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