Body Positivity Starts with YOU. Here’s How!
In a world filled with Instagram models and celebrity bodies, it can be tough to love yourself just for being you. And while one shortlist can’t solve all of your body positivity problems, maybe these tips can be a good starting point for your journey of self-love.
See Yourself Fully
We have a tendency to view ourselves as objects with physical characteristics. Instead of a human with complex emotions, rich history, and a multi-faceted personality, we see a body that has flaws. The truth is that yes, your body is how you physically occupy space. But it’s also the vehicle to achieving your dreams! And you’re so much more than a body. If you’re having trouble seeing past your physical attributes, remind yourself of a few of the following things:
- You are more than a number on a scale
- All of the things you’ve accomplished this week/month/year
- Your thoughts and feelings are valid
- People and places that bring you joy
- Everyone has good days and bad days
Cultivate Self Awareness
Self-awareness is another key tool in building the foundation for body positivity. When we’re aware of negative thoughts and comments toward ourselves, we can take appropriate steps to identify them and move past them. If you want to be more body positive and cultivate self-awareness, listen closely to the way you talk to yourself versus the way you talk to others. Ask yourself if you would speak to or about your friends the way you speak to yourself. This simple exercise can help you hone in on those negative thoughts and comments that might be getting in the way of body positivity.
Once you have the self-awareness to identify the negative self-talk, take steps to start combatting those thoughts. Positive affirmations after a negative thought can help you reclaim that moment and value yourself for the beautiful person you are.
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Skip the Weight Check
Dieting and weight loss are heavily promoted on social media these days. Fortunately, the body positivity movement is gaining traction, too. But that doesn’t mean the pressure to see a certain number on the scale just goes away. Our first tip was to see yourself fully as a human, and this builds on that. Your value is not determined by a number on a scale, your shape, or your size. Remember: your body carries you every day. It is strong, steadfast, and downright amazing sometimes. Weight is just a number. If you want to get scientific, weight is your body’s relationship with the Earth’s gravity. It doesn’t determine your relationship with yourself — only you can define that.
If you’re having trouble separating your weight and your worth, consider dumping your scale and taking a break from social media. Considering almost 60% of social media users between the ages of 28 and 73 said it negatively affects their self-image, it might be time to take a social media vacation. Sometimes just removing the temptation to compare yourself to others, via a scale or a cell phone, is enough to help you get started on your journey to body positivity.
Focus on How You Feel
This one can be tough. When we’re surrounded by pictures of others and of ourselves, looks can become very important very quickly. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re prioritizing looks over feelings, count the number of times you look at Instagram in a day, or the number of times you criticize yourself in the mirror. With this small exercise, it can quickly become apparent just how often we’re prioritizing the way we look over the way we feel.
How can you start focusing on feeling? One fun exercise is to wear an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. But once you put it on, don’t look in the mirror before you leave the house. Just enjoy feeling great in your favorite outfit!
Wear, do, and eat things that make you feel good. Sometimes it helps to keep a journal of the way you feel and what made you feel that way. In the future, looking back on these journal entries on a bad day might help you feel better. They can also give you some surprising insight into what helps you prioritize feeling good over looking good.
Above all else, don’t compare yourself to others. If you find yourself comparing your journey to someone else’s, consider this mantra:
“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
It’s an excellent reminder that your journey is your own and that you can bloom without the need to compete with someone else. This is essential in cultivating a life filled with body positivity. We hope these three tips help you get started on your journey of self-love.