How to Feel Good About Your Body: Body Positivity Tips
In an image-obsessed society, it is no surprise that many of us are constantly worried about our appearance and bodies. We obsess over our shapes, proportions, gaps, lacks and excesses and forget what we do have, which leads to insecurity and self-esteem problems.
"Body positivity" is the concept to add to your dictionary; being at peace with our body and living with it - instead of against it - is possible. Stay with us at OneHowTo to learn how to feel good about your body with our tips, and share yours in the comments section.
The first thing to do is to be able to accept your body as it is now. There are things about us that we can change, but others, like our height, the length of our legs, the shape of our nose, are not. We are constantly bombarded with messages that point out everything that's outside aesthetic norms and can be surgically altered. Are you accepting those messages without question? Who is benefiting from your insecurity?
There are things about your body and lifestyle you can change. If you want to do that, it's a good idea to set realistic daily goals that you can achieve and keep track off. This is a great way to establish healthy habits that will make you feel better about your body in the long run. These realistic goals can include things like "eating three pieces of fruit", "stretching before breakfast" and "saying something kind to the mirror".
It's very important to round up what your body can do right now - hold you up, get you out for a walk - and carry that with pride and enjoyment.
Once you've assimilated what your body can do for you, it is time for you to become your own best friend. Sure, self-deprecation can even be funny to an extent, but those kind of messages eventually settle in. Just like Mindy learns in The Mindy Project, you shouldn't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to a friend.
Be kind and forgiving with yourself. Consider leaving supportive messages to your future self in little notes or scheduled phone messages; you'll forget about them until they brighten up your morning! If you don't achieve a goal or target, that's fine. Nobody else is holding to the high standards you have for yourself.
We often feel pulled in by the mirror; we stand in front of it and point out everything wrong about us. Have you realized that we tend to do that by parts? We don't look at our reflection and say "it's all terrible"; we say "my elbows are terrible, my nose is awful, I hate my arms".
It's important to see the body as a whole, with flaws, virtues, good and bad sides. Your body includes your mind - try not to perceive them as separate things, even if we've been taught to do that. Self-esteem is about harmonizing your different sides. Nobody is asking you to love absolutely everything about yourself; that's both impossible and too limiting.
Sizes sadly do count in our society - let's not pretend they don't affect how we're treated - but there are many other things to take into account. Seeing your body as a living, constantly changing whole rather than a series of numbers will help you feel more positive about your body.
It is almost impossible to step completely outside beauty and fitness standards, since that's the society we live in. Even particular communities have their own standards within wider expectations. However, these aesthetic standards change. Today's beauty is not the same as it was a hundred years ago, and it's not the same as in another part of the world.
You might despair of your body right now, but would you be so negative about it in a different context? A body not fitting normative beauty doesn't mean it isn't beautiful. Try to visualize your own potential outside what fashion dictates.
For instance, ten years ago teeth gaps were fixed at the dentist's. Flash forward to nowadays and models like Lara Stone or Georgia May Jagger have made teeth gaps so popular they can even be considered a required quirk. What is beautiful or not, then, is quite random and changes with trends - it's hugely unfair to be expected to fit all molds.
Take some time off for self-care. Listen to your body and look for experiences to wake up your senses; wear your nicest underwear, have a glass of your favorite wine or beer or pamper with exfoliating and hydrating masks.
It can be hard to take care of yourself when you're feeling down or guilty; you deserve that time and that self-love. Here are some simple self-care tips so that you can take care of yourself properly.
Don't hide away - go out and walk tall and straight. This simple change in posture will make you look and feel more confident and attractive. If you enjoy dressing up, don't be afraid to do so - it can be done with little money. Learn to accept compliments and answer them with "yes, thank you" instead of "thank you, but...".
Remember that most successful and attractive people are simply really confident and have a great stylist - and even so, they probably also struggle with image issues at times.
Do play and experiment with fashion. There are many websites and blogs with advice on what clothes to wear to play up or hide particular body parts, if that's what worries you.
Using clothes that make us feel attractive can be a huge boost for self-esteem and, consequently, to feel better about our body.
It might sound obvious, but it's very important to stop comparing yourself to others. All bodies are different, and all of us have things we don't like at all, even if other people do not even notice them.
Instead of comparing yourself to celebrities, acquaintances and friends, praise them and give out compliments. Don't say "I wish I had your eye color - I hate mine". Instead, say "your eye color is so beautiful". It doesn't seem much, but it can make all the difference. When we become used to praising other people, our whole outlook becomes more positive - and this changes our perception of ourselves as well.
If you do change your habits and work to change your body, never forget that you're doing it for yourself. Exercise because it makes you feel good, or because you want to hit a stamina or strength target or win a match.
Exercising to look better, or to reach a particular size, is not a strong motivation and you'll either become obsessed or quit, since you'll never be completely satisfied. Don't focus on burning off calories or compensating what you've eaten - if working out feels like a horrible obligation, it won't work.
Since you're working for yourself, do respect your limits and try different methods so as not to feel bored. Separate your own goals from social expectations and loving your body will be much easier.
A good self-esteem and body positivity exercise is to look at yourself in the mirror. Try describing yourself as a stranger would, then as a novel narrator, then as a friend. Don't be afraid to look ridiculous - this is for you only. While you're looking at your reflection, point out to yourself the parts and quirks that you really like. Write them down and keep the list at hand.
Accept the marks and scars on your body and tell yourself the story of how they got there. Why not take some selfies? People with low self-esteem tend to not like having their picture taken, but having control over the camera is different.
Finally, remember that in self-esteem issues progress is not always linear. Even if you feel better about your body overall, there might be bad days and setbacks - that's fine.
Pay attention to negative messages from the media or from other people; be awake and critical with what makes you feel better or worse. Surround yourself with positive people and messages. Every once in a while, check in with yourself. Are you doing alright? Is there anything you should change?
These are our tips on how to feel better about your body - share yours in the comments section. Check out our article on how to increase your self-esteem in 10 steps for more practical ideas.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Feel Good About Your Body: Body Positivity Tips, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.