Have you ever convinced yourself that if you were thinner, had a smaller waist, or a bigger bum, you would suddenly be happier? Whether that’s to be curvier, taller, or have a smaller nose, you’re certainly not alone if you’ve ever felt low about your body. To find body acceptance, we have to flip the script on the narrative we tell ourselves about our bodies. It’s about silencing the inner critic that loves to point out all our flaws and replace them with kindness and positivity! So let’s leave comparison and judgment in the past and talk about how to find body acceptance.
How to Overcome Insecurities to Find Body Acceptance
We are our own worst critics. After all, we know ourselves the best, so it’s easy to pick apart all the things we think are inadequate about our bodies. When you find yourself in that negative thought pattern, give yourself a reminder to stop and change your thought process. If you are questioning whether to rock your new sexy dress because you think your body doesn’t meet certain standards – challenge that thinking. “I am perfect and complete just the way I am.” “My body is a gift. I treat it with love and respect.” Practice saying body-affirming affirmations to yourself in the mirror. Or write them down! Gift yourself with post-it note affirmations and place them around your space to bring you joy throughout your day.
Treat Yourself and Your Body
When’s the last time you treated your body with a little something to say thanks for being there? I know it sounds kinda strange talking about our bodies in third person. So I totally get it if this concept feels a bit weird in the beginning. Treat your body to a spa day, a dance class, or a deliciously fruity body lotion. Treating your body doesn’t have to break the bank either. There are equally beautiful and affordable ways to give your body a gift! Pack a picnic and lay amongst the grass, go for a swim in the ocean or take a cozy afternoon nap! Big or small, taking time to treat your body allows you the chance to shower it with the love it deserves.
A gratitude practice is a daily habit of thinking about, vocalizing, or writing down all you are grateful for. And they don’t have to be big, grand notions either. Start appreciating your body for all the incredible things it allows you to do each day, not what it looks like. Our bodies are pretty damn incredible. Your strong legs carry you from place to place and let us boogie the night away. Hands allow you to create, hold and help others. Your arms embrace and love friends and family. How cool is that? Practicing gratitude allows room for all the good things about your body to shine and less room for negative body image thoughts. When you practice gratitude, you may notice yourself slowly beginning to feel differently about your body. Little by little, you start appreciating all it does for you, rather than solely focusing on its appearance.
Surround Yourself With Positivity
Negative messages about body image are everywhere. Especially on social media. From photoshopped images of models in bikinis to influencers selling “skinny tea,” it can cause a boatload of comparison. Ask yourself: are you regularly seeing a diverse range of bodies? Do the accounts you follow embody your appearance and interests? Curate your social media to include people who uplift you, people who encourage self-love, and people who inspire you to be your authentic self! Surround yourself with people who are supportive and uplifting IRL too. Spreading positivity and kindness will allow you to be kinder to yourself. Consider texting your BFF a beautiful, uplifting message that will make their day.
Focus on Your Whole Person
Your body is an incredible vessel that allows you to experience the joys of life, but it does not define who you are. Your body doesn’t decide if you’re kind, intelligent, witty, or funny. It doesn’t determine your success or failures. Your friends and family don’t love you because of your body, they love you for who you are. To find body acceptance, it’s important to try to stop fixating on your body. Try to focus on yourself as a whole person and do things that bring you joy. That can mean trying new hobbies, getting lost in a book, or catching up with your pals. Whatever you love doing just for you – do more of that. Reminder: you are so much more than your body!
Accept Where You’re at
Body acceptance, loving your body regardless of your perceived imperfections is an inside job that takes time. Be patient with yourself. Don’t expect to wake up tomorrow morning loving everything about your body. Change and healing take time, and we all grow at a different pace. Accept where you’re at, and don’t be too hard on yourself if your body acceptance journey takes some time. What you can do is make small, daily decisions to challenge negative thoughts and practice gratitude and kindness towards your body. And remember, you are perfect and beautiful just as you are!
You might not find body acceptance right away. But the more you practice kindness and positivity towards yourself, the better you will feel about the body you were blessed with. Plus, how boring would it be if we all looked the same? Our differences are what makes us beautiful, and they should be celebrated!
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