This relaxation for positive self image helps to increase positive thinking, healthy self-concept, confidence, and self-esteem.
People with self image problems may try to be as different as possible to stand out and assert their individuality. Or, people who have a negative self image may attempt to blend in because they feel self-conscious. Individuals with a poor self image often make assumptions about what others are thinking, assuming the worst. This relaxation exercise helps you to feel comfortable and confident with who you are.
Get comfortable, preparing to relax. Find a position sitting or lying down, and start to relax your body.
Take a deep breath in…and breathe out…
Continue to breathe deeply, slowly, and comfortably.
I’ll count down now, from 10 to 1. As I say each number, you can become more relaxed. Let’s begin.
10…feeling your muscle start to relax…
9…your hands and feet are warming and relaxing…
8…your muscles are becoming loose and heavy…
7…notice your attention drifting…becoming more relaxed…
6…relaxing even further now…peaceful…
5…a tingly feeling of relaxation spreading through your body…pleasant and relaxed…
4…further relaxed and peaceful…
3…free of tension…
2…almost completely relaxed now…
1…you are now deeply relaxed.
Very deeply relaxed and comfortable.
Now that you are feeling more relaxed, begin to create a picture in your mind. Imagine positive self image. What does it mean to have a positive self image?
Perhaps when you think of positive self image, you envision confidence, self-acceptance, good self-esteem, or other characteristics. Imagine what positive self image means to you.
self image is the concept – or image – you have of yourself. If you see yourself in a positive way, have respect for yourself, and are content with who you are, you generally have a positive self image.
It is okay to have areas you want to improve, and to have things you want to change about yourself. Self-improvement is good and healthy, and is a process we all continue throughout life. A positive self image allows you to like and respect yourself while striving to improve.
Your negative or positive self image is reflected in self-talk. If you criticize yourself, or automatically assume negative things, this damages your self image and contributes to low self-esteem. On the other hand, if you make efforts to speak in more positive, more realistic terms, you can maintain a positive self image and healthy self-esteem.
For example, imagine that you are walking down the street, and someone looks your direction for a few seconds.
Negative, unrealistic self-talk may be something like this: “That person is looking at me. He must think I look weird. Maybe he things I’m doing something weird.”
More realistic self-talk goes more like this: “I cannot read minds, so I don’t know why he is looking my direction. Maybe he thinks he recognizes me. Maybe he is just looking over here and it has nothing to do with me at all.”
When negative thoughts arise, consider whether the thoughts are assumptions or are based on evidence, and try to re-frame your thinking to be more realistic.
A healthy, positive self image is also reflected in the way you treat yourself.
Sometimes in an effort to be unique, people deny their true identity. This happens when people make such efforts to be different, they are more concerned with being different than being who they really are. This can also occur when people make efforts to be the same in order to not stand out.
With a positive self image, it is possible to be confident whether you are different than others or the same. It is not necessary to appear different to be unique. True confidence is being who you are, without concern for appearing different or for appearing the same.
It is okay to be different. It is okay to be similar to others as well.
In some ways you are different than anyone else. In some ways, you are the same as everyone else. You are a human being who deserves respect, happiness, and good things.
For the next few moments, just relax…allow yourself to become deeply relaxed and comfortable, and then you can focus on creating a positive self image.
Relax…allowing your mind to focus inward…
Now imagine that you have a jar that contains pure relaxation. It is a liquid substance, the consistency of thick paint. What colour would relaxation be?
Imagine that you also have a paint brush, that is very soft…the softest, silkiest brush…the tip is about as wide as your index finger. The bristles are soft. When pressure is applied, they bend, and as soon as the pressure is stopped, they return to their original position…soft and resilient.
Picture opening the jar of relaxation, and dipping the brush into this paint. Imagine painting relaxation onto the back of your left hand, starting at the wrist, and moving toward your knuckles. Imagine that relaxation is painted over the entire surface of the back of your left hand.
Continue painting this relaxation onto your skin…over the surface of each finger and your thumb. As soon as the relaxation is applied to your skin, feel the area relaxing…feeling calm, still, and heavy.
The relaxation paint is so pleasant. It may be warm…or cool…so deeply relaxing…calming down…
Imagine painting the palm of your left hand, and the front surfaces of your thumb and fingers.
Now imagine painting the back of your right hand, fingers, and thumb…smoothly applying relaxation to the entire back surface of your right hand.
Picture this relaxation being applied to the surface of the palm of your right hand…your fingers and thumb.
Feel how relaxed your hands feel…so warm…heavy…calm…it is such a pleasant feeling. Notice that the relaxation paint is absorbing into your hands…disappearing into the surface of your skin to fill your hands with relaxation…your hands do not look like any paint has been applied at all…the paint looks like it has disappeared but your hands are so fully relaxed…
Notice the disappearing effect of the relaxation paint. Imagine applying one streak of paint to your left forearm. Imagine looking at the paint, seeing its colour. The paint is thick, and smooth..sitting on the surface of your forearm. See the paint on your skin and feel it relaxing this area.
Notice that as your forearm relaxes, the paint is disappearing. It is as if it is absorbing into your skin…creating an even deeper, more complete feeling of relaxation. Soon there is nothing visible on your forearm at all. It is clean and dry and looks perfectly normal…and is so deeply relaxed.
Imagine painting relaxation to your right forearm as well…and observing as the relaxation absorbs, leaving no visible trace but a total feeling of relaxation.
Your hands and forearms are heavy and relaxed…and you can relax the rest of your body too.
Imagine applying the relaxation paint to any area that is tense and needs to relax. Perhaps your shoulders. Maybe the paint feels pleasant and cool on your skin…and perhaps it leaves your shoulders feeling warm and heavy…sinking into relaxation…down your arms…so fully relaxed all the way from your shoulders to your fingertips…
Imagine how good it would feel to relax your neck. Imagine what it would feel like if the relaxation was smoothed over the surface of your neck with the soft paint brush.
Imagine brushing the relaxation gently across your forehead…down your nose…over your cheeks…eyelids…lips…chin…
Imagine the relaxation being spread over the surface of your back…over your sides…chest and stomach…all the way to your hips…
Imagine relaxation on your upper legs…and your knees….your lower legs…and ankles…
Feel the pleasant relaxation paint being applied to the top of your feet…and then the bottom of your feet…
Feel your body relaxing from head to toe…so relaxed and still…so heavy…calm…relaxed…
Feel yourself calming down…sinking deeply into relaxation.
Notice if there are any areas that have not fully relaxed. Imagine applying the relaxation paint to these spots…feel the paint absorbing…and the area relaxing…sinking into warmth and relaxation…
The relaxation is inside your body now…filling you with a sense of peace and calm…relaxed inside and out…calming down…drifting…relaxing…
The relaxation flowing through your body also works to calm the mind…allowing you to focus intently with calm and clarity.
Imagine that right now at this moment, you have a healthy, positive self image. Allow yourself to envision what it would be like to have a positive self image, how good and happy and confident you feel.
Right now in this moment, you do have a positive self image. This healthy, positive, realistic outlook is true and right, and you can keep this positive self image forever.
You are a successful person. You are capable of doing everything you set out to do.
You are confident. You feel secure in who you are. The slightest feeling of doubt about yourself causes you to feel calm, relaxed, and confident, and to realize that you have everything it takes to be happy and successful every moment of every day.
You enjoy the freedom of feeling comfortable being who you are.
You are a likeable person with good qualities. You like and respect yourself.
Making mistakes causes you to remember that you are a human being and that it is normal and okay to make mistakes. You learn from your mistakes while feeling confident. Making mistakes causes you to feel good about yourself and to learn from your mistakes.
You appreciate who you are. You feel good about the ways you are unique and different, and you feel good about the ways you are similar to others. You feel secure and confident in who you are, and are true to yourself.
You have a strong sense of identity. You uphold your values, at all times living according to your own moral code and respecting the things that are important to you.
The slightest perception of judgement, negativity, or criticism from others causes you to relax and to feel secure and confident.
You like yourself.
You are a good person.
You are okay just the way you are.
You learn and grow every day.
You take pride in being a person who is kind, and every day of your life you behave in ways that show kindness to others and to yourself.
You refuse to do anything that is contrary to your wellbeing. You refuse to ever treat yourself unkindly. You behave as a supportive friend to yourself at all times.
Allow a feeling of happiness, confidence, and joy to fill you. Let this happy feeling grow, filling you with joy inside.
Allow your positive self image to become your way of thinking forever, keeping this positive self image with you at all times, in every situation you encounter.
In a moment I will count to three. When I say the number three, you become fully awake and alert, calm and happy, feeling good about yourself.