Now more than ever, taking care of yourself physically and mentally is vital. It’s so easy to lose focus on your emotional health when you’re facing uncertainty and the everyday stresses of work, kids, money, household tasks, and the dozens of other concerns taking up space in your head. Body love? Who has time to think about that now?
Luckily, it doesn’t take much time each day to help improve how you feel about yourself and your body. And the payoffs are big, even aside from the largest payoff: a healthier life. Many studies show that people who feel good about themselves have lower rates of chronic disease, and they live longer, too.
So, how do you boost your self-image and self-acceptance? Here are a few suggestions:
Admittedly, it’s tough to quiet that inner critical voice and treat yourself more kindly and compassionately. Meditation is a way to learn to clear your mind, be present in the moment, and teach yourself to appreciate all that your body does for you.
There are a ton of body appreciation meditations online, from guided imagery to visualization to mantra meditations. Try out a few to find one that helps build your self-image and confidence.
Actively participating in your health is powerfully motivating in all areas of your life. A healthy self-image means understanding that your body does not define who you are. It doesn’t mean, however, that you shut off thoughts about how your body actually feels. Being aware of your body, how it feels, how it moves, and what it needs are the keystones to learning to take good care of your body.
For example, if you have isolated areas of fat or excess skin—common after weight loss or pregnancy—that inhibit you physically or emotionally, it’s okay to do something about it. According to the website of Destin Plastic Surgery, liposuction or a tummy tuck can make movement and everyday life easier, healthier, and more comfortable.
Taking action is an empowering step in its own right. Just make sure you’re doing it to feel more comfortable, not because you feel compelled to conform to some other person’s standard of how your body should look.
Conscious breathing and focused movements in yoga help many people learn to appreciate their bodies’ strengths, abilities, and needs. It’s important to recognize your body’s sensations. The lack of this body awareness is often associated with body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. In fact, studies find that yoga is an effective adjunct therapy for people with eating disorders.
Body-positive yoga classes are everywhere, including a few here in the Panhandle. These classes welcome people with all types of bodies, so you don’t need to worry about “fitting in.”
Since body-positive yoga focuses on healing your mind-body relationship, it’s a perfect fit for your quest to become more accepting of your physical self.
Build Your Body-Positive Squad
Let’s face it; it’s tough to break those old habits of negative self-talk and body shaming. It helps to have friends who already embrace body positivity in their own lives. Supportive, optimistic friends are inspiring, helping you cement your new self-affirming lifestyle.
More than 50 studies find that supportive social relationships boost self-esteem, whether you’re 4 years old or 74 years old. If you need a little help finding like-minded friends, take a look online for local or virtual support groups that can help you form uplifting friendships.
Learning to love your body is worth the effort. We hope these four tips help enrich your life and enhance your attitude about your body. If you have other suggestions for embracing the body-positive life, we’d love to read about them in the comments section below.
Please note: If you struggle with body dysmorphia or an eating disorder, you can find useful resources at the National Eating Disorders Association helpline (800) 931-2237.
For more posts on body positivity & loving yourself check out our page, We ♥️ Our Mom Bods