When we look in the mirror, most of us focus more on what we don’t like about our shape. We see our bodies as something to be looked at rather than used and appreciated. You can feel good about your body and lead a happy and fulfilling life, whatever your body type and age.
You can learn to embrace your body just as you are.
Here are some essential tips to remember:
1. Stop avoiding your body.
We know that one way to maintain negative body image is to avoid your body. So, in order to break this cycle, stop the avoidance! Face up to your body and get to know it, lumps, bumps and all. Get used to being with your body. Look at yourself as a whole person - don't just focus on the bits you don't like.
2. Stop checking.
Some people check rather than avoid, which also perpetuates negative body image. Checking is when people frequently check their bodies for evidence of continuing "disgustingness".
3. Stop comparing.
One form of "checking" behavior is comparison. It can be challenging to stop negatively comparing yourself to others: for many people, it's such a habit it is automatic and happens hundreds of times a day. There's someone out there who's felt the way you feel, and there's likely even someone who's looked at you with envy. So instead of getting caught up in their business, take a seat in your own life.
4. Practice self-acceptance.
Having a negative body image is like having a critic in your head. The critic is a harsh, derogatory narrative that makes nasty comments about you. The big key to changing negative body image is to kill the critic, and learn self-acceptance. This means accepting yourself as you are. It can take time, but it's worth it!
Smiling helps release chemicals in the body which increase cell reproduction and will also mean you have more energy to strut your lovely stuff in the day. Plus, smiling, for sure, will make you look better! Not to mention how it can help you avoid wrinkles in the long run.
We know that one list cannot automatically tell you how to turn negative body thoughts into positive body image, but it can bring you in to healthier ways of looking at yourself and your body. The more you practice these new thought patterns, the better you will feel about who you are and the body you naturally have. You are more powerful than you think you are.