There are many factors that can contribute to your insecurities. Perhaps, you view your body negatively while looking in the mirror, or perhaps someone told you that you aren’t good enough. The truth is, not everyone loves their bodies, but it doesn’t mean that you should live in fear of not being accepted. The world is not always kind to us, but there are many things that you can do to love the skin that you are in.
Body shaming and self-hate is a global epidemic. It takes many forms — from the messages we see in the media to the words that people speak directly to us, or about us. While it can be disheartening to see this happen, we now have the power to change this.
1. Cut out the comparison
Comparison is the thief of joy. Take pictures of yourself, look at them and remember how good you felt when you took them. Remembering how happy you felt will help you feel more positive about your body in the present moment. Try not to post those pictures publicly though or someone might steal your joy by comparing themselves to you.
Make sure that if you do post pictures of yourself, do it for you; do not try to impress others. Know who you are, what your value is and what you are able to offer the world. You are a gift, you are sexy and you are brilliant! Every person deserves to love their body deeply and completely.
2. Accept that you fall prey to media and society’s body ideals
We are all subject to societal expectations of us and what we should look like. That’s why we are all hardwired to be critical of ourselves. By only recognizing the media’s influence, make sure that it doesn’t get to your internalized ideas about what beauty actually is. In order to move on from feeling bad about yourself, you have to get to the root of these issues, which manifest themselves in little ways you might not even notice initially.
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The secret to loving your body is actually loving yourself, and that means being mindful of how you treat yourself. Remember that the journey to achieving self-love is love itself. Each day, note a few ways that you could have been kinder or more appreciative of yourself, and try to practice this in new ways.
3. Happiness is the new sexy
Now, this one may sound a little weird, but hear me out. Think of your teenage years and how incredibly confusing they were. Back then, you were most likely focused on getting someone to notice you, whereas now you’re grown up and your priorities might have changed quite substantially. Instead of stressing over your looks, focus on what makes you happy!
4. Acknowledge your strengths
Everyone has something to offer to the world. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen, become a mentor to someone or just be nice to strangers. If you want to feel good about yourself, find things that give meaning to your life and do more of them.
Get fit for health, not weight loss. “Weight loss” should be an afterthought, not your sole motivator for exercising and eating healthier. I know how hard it can be sometimes to stop the hate-talk you have toward yourself. I personally believe in loving your body for what it can do, not for what it physically looks like.
5. Change the conversation about your body
When you are talking about yourself or anyone else, be mindful of how you are describing your or their body. Words can be powerful and if you are constantly telling yourself negative things, it’s easy to think of yourself as a victim. When you are kind to yourself, you can change how you talk to others about your body too. Make sure you are not putting yourself down unnecessarily.
Your body wears the scars of several years of self-criticism, self-doubt and self-deprecation. If you’re like me, your body wears the scars of several years of trying to please others (and often failing miserably). Your body is a reminder of where you’ve been and, more importantly, it’s a reminder of where you’re going. Your body is a reflection of your journey, and it can be an integral-compass on your journey.