When you think of your own body, what is the first thought that comes to mind?
Was it an overly critical judgment of yourself and your body? If so, you’re not alone. Unless you’re one of the very few that are genetically blessed with society’s idea of perfection, chances are you probably exaggerate your flaws.
I’m sure you can relate to the following scenario:
What happens when you look in the mirror? You’re getting out of the shower and drying off and you happen to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. “Ugh, I look gross,” or, “I need to lose these love handles,” comes to mind. You stare with a critical eye at your reflection. You pinch your midsection and excessively examine every little crease and crevasse in your face. You rush to get dressed so you don’t have to look at or think about it anymore.
For most people, this is an all too real scenario. Regardless of what others think of us, what’s most important first and foremost, is how we feel about our own body. In order to truly feel good about yourself, your body, perfect or not, needs your support, love and care so that you can have a positive body image.
So how might you go about learning to love your body and feeling comfortable in your own skin?
Be nice! Your body needs to be loved and cared for. Next time you are standing naked in front of your mirror, choose one feature you love about yourself. Maybe you have great hair, or your eyes are to die for! Don’t walk away from any mirror without finding something positive about yourself. Your harsh thoughts about your body are just your own opinions and thoughts. It is not necessarily reality.
Stand tall (regardless of your height)! A good posture helps with body presentation. Anyone can have a stomach roll if you’re slouching. A great posture can affect how you look and carry yourself and thus, improve your attitude. Standing tall and proud exudes confidence!
Exercise. Be active! Physical activity helps increase endorphins. Endorphins are known as the feel-good chemicals in the brain. We are all aware that exercise can improve your appearance and keep you healthy, but exercise also benefits us mentally, emotionally and socially.
Focus on good nutrition. What you eat and don’t eat can have a huge impact on your mood. You might turn to chocolate and pasta when you’re feeling down, but the satisfaction from eating these foods is very short-lived. Focus on eating more protein, fruits and veggies and less of the simple-carbohydrates. Eat only when you’re hungry. A good diet can increase your energy levels and improve your mood!
Focus on the positive. If you see yourself as “unattractive” and “undesirable” when you look in the mirror, others will see you that way too. A positive attitude is attractive no matter how smart, physically appealing or in-shape you are. This can be hard at first, but it just takes practice!
Focusing on loving and taking care of your body can only improve your self-image and self-love. You should respect your body. Your body is along for the ride whether you like it or not. View it as a teammate. You’re in this together!