Body-checking, you may or may not have heard of this term, but you probably do it! Body-checking is exactly as it sounds...checking your body! You may do this by looking in the mirror, looking at your legs when you’re sitting, feeling your bones, etc.
Body-checking is NOT recovery-oriented! The behavior of body checking affects our thoughts and beliefs (body image). It can and WILL make recovery-oriented behaviors even more difficult! Body-checking is powerful, but in a negative way.
The question is, how do we stop body-checking?
First things first, I would start by logging all of your body-checking behaviors either in your journal or in the notes section of your phone. The reason for this is that many have many more body-checking behaviors than you realize that are sneaky, and therefore you don’t even realize they’re body-checking behaviors.
When making this list, be brutally honest with yourself about what behaviors are in fact body-checking behaviors.
Next, start to track it. I would suggest tracking the amount of times you engage in body-checking behaviors by keeping tally throughout the day. If possible, I would somehow log what type of body-checking behavior it is each time. If this gets too overwhelming, then just keep a running tally overall. If you want to log what type of behavior, maybe you want to make a circle for every time you look in the mirror and a line every time you look at a body part in class (examples of course.)
Once you take some time to become more aware of your body-checking, it’s time to do something about it. These actions are going to be specific to you and your behaviors. I would recommend putting away mirrors in your house that you tend to check, if you can’t, then cover them. If you tend to feel certain body parts when you’re sitting around in class or at work, bring something that you can do with your hands to keep them busy. These are just some ideas.
Depending on how you body-check, I would try to remove any stimulus (what leads you to body-check; mirror) and incorporate both coping and distraction techniques into your life as well. These techniques can be both preventative and reactive.
It is difficult to lessen or eliminate these behaviors from your life. It starts with your willingness to try. Also, your behaviors won’t stop overnight and you will find yourself coming back to it, be forgiving and compassionate toward yourself since this is normal, and expected! Despite that, continue to challenge yourself!
I hope you found this post helpful! If you know anyone else who could benefit from reading this, please share with them. If you have any questions, concerns or requests for future posts, please leave a comment or message me privately.
I wish you willingness on your journey to finding your State of Balance!
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