7 Body Positive TED Talks with Journal Prompts

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What’s the deal with negative body image?

A body-positive mindset is something so many people, especially women, struggle with today. Society has very strict messages on what we should be, other people can be very rough on us, and of course, we are very hard on ourselves.

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Some of us feel too skinny, some too fat, some too short, some too tall, breasts too small, breasts too big. The list goes on. We each have our own limiting beliefs and stories we struggle with.

Negative Body Image & Money

We can choose to go around blaming everyone else for us feeling bad about ourselves, especially because there are a host of influences trying to keep us in a negative state. For one thing, unhappy people tend to buy more. Here’s my impression of nearly every female-focused consumer advertising message “You’re not good enough, well you need this (insert nearly any consumer product here). It will make the men want you and the women want to be you!” Sound familiar? I often find if you want to get to the bottom of a conspiracy, follow the money and power, and your answers will become clearer????.

Negative Body Image & The Patriarchy

Another interesting point I recently heard was that the negative body image industry is not only designed to keep us spending more money, but it is also a ploy by the overarching patriarchy to keep women suppressed. Basically, what this means is that aside from being a lucrative business, it also ensures women are convinced they need to be thinking about their appearance so much that they don’t have time for anything else. Westernized negative body image ideals also have roots in American slavery. Female Black slave’s bodies were depicted as being alluring and seductive, therefore deserving of sexual exploitation. This further instilled the blue-eyed, blond, skinny, European body type as being “ideal” as it was thought to be more “pure” or “clean.” An added racial twist to patriarchal control. Despite this, sexual assault remains rampant and underreported across cultures.

None of this surprises me. After all, men have been using physical violence over women for thousands of years across many different cultures to keep us in check, fearful of our lives and the lives of our children; why not add this as an extra bit of psychological warfare. If you’re interested in learning more about this, I recommend reading Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende.

Fighting back with Body Positivity

I am not an angry feminist; I am lucky to have many good men in my life, and I know not all men are like this. But the reality is that many are. And while we are lucky to live in an age where many women today have a lot more equality than in past generations, violence (physical and psychological) towards women is still prevalent and something we should all be aware of and continually aim to work towards living with more equality.

One way you can do this is by finding more awareness and acceptance within yourself. Peacefully protest by not buying into the psychological warfare of becoming the “ideal” or “perfect” body image. Know that the answers to your journey and finding your own beauty lie within you. Learn more about yourself and take action that feels healthy and beautiful to you. Empower others to feel beautiful by first empowering yourself to feel beautiful. Psychological warfare fighting back, developing your own positive body image isn’t just about you; it’s about all the women around you that you love and future generations.

Body Positive Mindset

Ok, so it’s one thing to understand some of the origins of why our negative body image issues have come about due to external factors. You can reject these external factors as much as you want, but the lasting psychological damage is already in play. You’re ready to change, be kind, and love yourself, but how?

The first step is to recognize that body image is all related to mindset, regardless of where the voice that says cruel things about your body when you look in the mirror is coming from. This mindset has been calibrated and fine-tuned by both negative and positive influences. The cool thing is that you have the power to choose which influences you let affect you.

Imagine your mindset like a DJ controller mixing board. There are a lot of dials and tuning mechanisms. If there is excess noise in the background, the DJ can change the settings to minimize it and remove it from the track, or if there is a sound they like, they can amplify it. By changing the settings of each of the dials, the DJ changes the sound that comes out. Your mind is currently set to your unique version of “negative body image.” But you can take back the power to be your own mindset DJ. By adjusting and fine-tuning the dials, you can change your mind to a positive body image setting that works for you.

Mindset = the setting of your mind. You have the power to change the settings in both helpful and limiting ways.

Adrianne Elizabeth

Body Acceptance & Body Awareness

The most effective method I have found to develop a positive body image mindset is through body acceptance and body awareness. Body acceptance is about recognizing and being content with your body the way it is. Body awareness is about connecting with your body and identifying what you need.

By becoming more aware of my body, I find it easier to look after myself healthily. For me, a healthy body-positive mindset is about finding balance. By tuning in and finding balance within the body, mind, and soul, being healthy and beautiful comes naturally. This is where I believe truly loving your body lies. True love is messy, full of flaws and changes over time; that’s what makes true love so beautiful.

Useful Body Acceptance & Body Awareness Tools

Stressing and worrying about your body will only worsen anything you are already struggling with. Adding tools to your wellness toolbox will help you adjust your mindset dials to positive and build resilience. There is a wide range of tools you can use to adjust your mindset dials. The trick is to test a wide range of things and find what works for you.

  • Yoga
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Affirmation practices
  • Gratitude practices
  • Self-care
  • Magik (Yes, magik! No, not illusionary magic like David Copperfield, or Houdini, or anything evil like you see in Hollywood movies. Magik is about using rituals to focus on bringing what you want/need into your life (think manifesting). This links to a video by Skylife & Mia Magic about attracting love, but one of the key aspects they talk about is loving yourself first).
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Talking to friends, family, neighbors
  • Therapy

7 Body Positive TED talks with Journal Prompts

I am a big fan of journaling to work through any limiting beliefs, challenges, or just to check in with yourself. So, to help you on your body positivity journey, I have collected these TED talks about body positivity and created journal prompts based on each one so you can really dive into their messages and get the most value from them.

I’ve also created the 7-Day Love your Body Journal Challenge free for anyone who wants to join the Your Happiness Quest Tribe and deep-dive into journaling to help develop a positive body image. In this week-long email series, you will unpack limiting beliefs and build new, positive body image stories that support you. To join, simply pop your name and email into the form below.

Join the 7 Day Love Your Body (Without losing weight) Journal Challenge

Change your “I’ll be happy when I lose weight (or other such body image issue)” mindset with this free 7 day journal prompt email series exclusive to YHQ Tribe Members and discover vital tools to truly love your body.

    By joining this email series you agree to receive ongoing emails from us that contain journal prompts, useful tips + information about other health & wellness tools & products (some of which may be affiliate links or paid offers). We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Body Positivity or Body Obsession? Learning to See More & Be More by Lindsay Kite at TEDx Salt Lake City

    You are worth more than how you look”

    Lindsay Kite

    Body-Positive Journal Prompts:

    • How many times a day do you think about your appearance?
    • Has your body image ever stopped you from doing something you love or trying something new?
    • How do you feel about your body?
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, how active are you? (1= sit down most of the day, 10 = very active all day)
    • “Your body is an instrument”. What do you wish that your body could DO?
    • What is one thing you can (and will) do this week to challenge your body image and start on the path to body image resilience?

    Body Image: Not Just About Your Body by Jessi Kneeland at TEDx Onondaga Community College

    Your body has always been fighting for you and not against you”

    Jessi Kneeland

    Body-Positive Journal Prompts:

    • Write a list of triggers that make you feel unsafe in your own skin.
    • What are the body image obsessions that you use to make yourself feel safe?
    • What emotions do you use to protect yourself that you need to work through?
    • Write a letter to your body. Apologize for the abuse you have inflicted on it, thank it for being with you all these years, acknowledge your scars, wrinkles, cellulite, and any other imperfections that you focus on, make a promise to your body to look after it and love it properly from now on. Write down what you will start doing to properly care for your body and how you will start to work through the negative emotions that have caused you to neglect or punish your body in the past.

    Have You Hated Your Body Enough Today? by Michelle Elman at TEDx Convent Garden Women

    Do you know what anti-aging is? Dying. The alternative to aging is literally dying. Aging is a privilege.”

    Michelle Elman

    Body-Positive Journal Prompts:

    • Have you ever heard anyone you admire say something negative about their body?
    • How did this make you feel?
    • Imagine you were in a hospital-like Michelle. Who and what is most important to you?
    • Have you ever made excuses for your body?
    • When have you cursed your body when it was really helping you?
    • What would you do if you didn’t think about your appearance?

    Reclaiming my body and finding true love by Carré Otis at TEDx FiDi Women

    I began to realize I was my best friend. I was my best date. I was the provider for everything I had once thought only someone or something else outside of me could provide for.”

    Carré Otis

    Body-Positive Journal Prompts:

    • Take a moment to write down any emotions this talk brought up for you.
    • Have you ever had a love affair with yourself?
    • What would your perfect date with yourself look like? Think about: self-love (food, bubble bath, massage, etc.)
    • List three things you will do this coming week to look after your body?

    Why Thinking You’re Ugly Is Bad For You by Meaghan Ramsey at TED

    Low body confidence is undermining academic achievement… and we don’t grow out of it. Women who think they’re overweight, regardless of whether they are or not, have higher rates of absenteeism.”

    Meaghan Ramsey

    Body-Positive Journal Prompts:

    • What would our society and economy look like if low body confidence wasn’t an issue?
    • If a friend started talking to you about their body in a negative way. What do you say? Do you tell them they are beautiful then join in with your own body image issues?
    • Now challenge the status quo. Re-write your answer without talking about yourself in a negative way.
    • Take Responsibility! Have you ever said or written anything negative about someone else looks?
    • Pledge time! I (insert name here) will make a conscious effort to focus on what people do instead of how they look. I will think about how my words could affect someone before I open my mouth or press send. (insert date here).
    • Educate! Help us move towards that body-loving society. Share this body-positive challenge with at least one female friend or relative.

    Looks Aren’t Everything. Trust Me. I’m A Model. By Cameron Russell at TED

    And if you ever are wondering, “If I have thinner thighs and shinier hair, will I be happier?” you just need to meet a group of models, because they have the thinnest thighs, the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes, and they’re the most physically insecure women probably on the planet.”

    Cameron Russell

    Body-Positive Journal Prompts:

    • How often do you think: ‘If my body was just (fill in the gap here) I would be happy’?
    • List at least 10 things that make you happy now.
    • How many of those can your body do without being any different than it is right now?
    • Make a plan to do one thing on your list of happy things every day for the next 10 days.

    How Do You Define Yourself? By Lizzie Velasquez at TEDx Austin Women

    Use that negativity that you have in your life to make yourself better. because I guarantee you, guarantee you, you will win… Brave starts here.”

    Lizzie Velasquez

    Body-Positive Journal Prompts:

    • What defines you? Who are you? What defines you as a person?
    • Like Lizzie did for her lack of eye-site in one eye and her inability to gain weight. Find the silver lining in your life. Take your body hang-ups and find something good about them
    • You are in charge of the direction of your own life. You decide what road to take? Which one are you going to take?
    • What are the life goals that you want to define you?

    Bonus Video: Dear Black Women, Let’s talk about healing: The Power of Healing from Strength and Resilience Trauma by Angela Bowden

    This talk isn’t specifically about body image, it is about healing from trauma. Also, while Angela speaks directly to black women, I found myself relating to much of her talk about trauma and healing in general from a woman’s perspective so I wanted to share this talk with all of you.

    Healing Journal Prompts:

    • What past traumas do you hold?
    • What tools do you use to heal these traumas? Are they effective? Are they serving you?
    • Unhealed trauma passes from generation to generation. What trauma has been passed on to you?
    • How can you start to make your self-care and healing a priority?


    You’re On Your Way to Develop a Body Positive Mindset!

    Developing a positive body image takes a lot of work and focus. However, by watching these talks and completing the journal prompts, you have taken a step in the right direction to dial in a positive body image!

    If you want to explore using journaling to fine-tune your body-positive mindset, join the 7-Day Love Your Body Journal Challenge with the Your Happiness Quest Tribe. You will receive journal prompts delivered to your inbox over the next seven days to help you unpack limiting beliefs and build up a new positive mindset around your body.

    Please, share this article with your friends and family to help spread the body-loving goodness. I would love to hear what you thought of this challenge. Please leave a comment below.

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