The human (or animal) body is a complex structure of many different cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems that work together synchronously. However, in our daily lives, most of us rarely pay attention to our bodies, and instead focus on our thoughts and feelings. Body neutrality is one movement that has emerged to help change the way we perceive and interact with our bodies for the better. Before considering the benefits of exercising body neutrality, let’s understand how it differs from body positivity.
Body positivity is an attitude of feeling good about, loving, and cherishing your body. On the other hand, body neutrality is an objective attitude towards your body and its appreciation for its functions. Both approaches are healthy and help with a positive attitude that encourages physical health.
Body Neutrality: Meaning and Benefits
Body neutrality refers to maintaining an attitude of neutrality towards your body. The roots of this principle lie in genetics. We are more than our bodies, their appearance beyond our control and designed at birth. Instead of loving it or hating it, you can just focus on and appreciate the body’s functioning. The benefits of practicing body neutrality are numerous, but here are the most important ones.
You stop judging other people on their appearance: Since you don’t judge the value of your body by its appearance, it’s only natural that you stop judging people based on their appearance. You can perceive the different qualities in people and not make many assumptions based on first impressions.
You develop a deep connection to your body: As you begin to focus on the performance of your body, you will naturally develop a deeper relationship with it. A deeper connection refers to knowing when to eat, sleep, and take care of your body. Exercising, hiking and running are some of the activities you can do to improve your physical health.
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You worry less about your appearance: Many people suffer from body image problems, and the perception of weight is also associated with various eating disorders. If you felt uncomfortable with your appearance earlier, you may be more reassured if you begin to perceive the body as a functional mechanism.
You begin to appreciate your sensory experience: think about it. Your body is an instrument that allows you to experience the world through taste, smell, touch, sound and sight. The five senses are a blessing that makes life colorful, attractive, and worth experiencing. You can develop a sense of gratitude and respect for your body through body neutrality.
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One step closer to body positivity: Body positivity is an attitude that comes with greater self-esteem and confidence that makes it worthwhile. But for many people, being optimistic about their bodies is a huge leap. On the other hand, being neutral about the body and appreciating its functions is a good starting point.
Body neutrality is an attitude that is neutral, objective, or values the body based solely on its function. It differs from body positivity in that the latter means feeling good or having a positive attitude towards the body. A big part of developing positive or appreciative attitudes toward your body is taking action for itself. The benefits of practicing both body neutrality and positivity are numerous. Some of the steps you can take to get proper physical health care include regular exercise, adequate nutrition and timely sleep. Among these, exercise is also associated with positive mental health outcomes. To find out what type of exercise is best for mental health, click here.
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