Many of us struggle with accepting and loving our bodies.
We are constantly comparing ourselves to others on social media, on the TV and in our day-to-day lives, and picking apart our own appearances rather than building ourselves up.
The body positivity movement promotes the acceptance of all bodies, addresses unrealistic body standards, and helps people build confidence and learn to love and enjoy their own bodies.
We’ve rounded up some tips to help you start practicing body positivity. Take a look:
Start accepting compliments
We are all guilty of saying things like: “Stop it, no I don’t” or “Thanks but I…” when someone tells us we look nice or compliments our appearance.
A great way to start being more positive is to cut out the negative response when we receive a compliment.
There isn’t any need to bring yourself down when someone compliments something about you.
Instead, just say thank you and take on board what they said.
Stop negative self talk
This goes hand-and-hand with starting to accept compliments.
You should speak to yourself how you speak to your family, friends, or someone you love. Would you ever tell them that they look awful? Of course not, so why would you be so cruel to yourself?
It’s hard to change old patterns, but making an effort everyday to change the language you use about your body can help you to eventually feel more positive about it overall.
For example, when trying on a new dress instead of saying something like: “I am not buying this it makes my legs look awful”, try switching to something that’s a little kinder to yourself such as: “I’m not buying this because I think I can find something that shows off my legs in a more flattering way.”
Instead of being your own worst critic, try become your own biggest fan and treat yourself with kindness.
Focus on things you like about yourself
Nobody is perfect, and everyone has things they’d like to change about themselves.
But instead of focusing on the features you don’t like about yourself, focus on what you do like. Then, try to become more accepting of your “flaws” and “imperfections”.
Remember, every single part of you makes you, you – unique and beautiful.
Beauty also comes from within so if you’re ever feeling low about your physical appearance, take a moment to think about the parts of your personality that you love and take pride in the person you’ve become.
Practice positive affirmations
Repeating positive affirmations has proven to be able to rewire your brain to be more positive.
Waking up in the morning and journaling some body positive affirmations and saying them out loud is a great way to practice body positivity.
Saying things like “My body deserves love,” “My body deserves to be taken care of” and “I am perfect the way I am” are good affirmations to start with.
Another great tip is to write these affirmations out and stick them to your mirrors to remind yourself of them. There are also great apps such as ‘I Am’ that deliver positive affirmations straight to your phone.
Surround yourself with body positive messages
Declutter your life of things that feed into a negative thought process about your body.
Throw out the fad diet books and unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad/promote unrealistic body expectations.
Instead, fill your feed with body positive influencers and accounts that will inspire you to love yourself.
You’d be surprised by how much the negative media we consume affects our thought process so make sure you’re surrounding yourself with things that make you feel positive.
Check out some of our favourite stars to follow on social media for body positivity here.
Look after your body
Make sure you are doing things to look after your body and that make you feel good.
Drinking water, getting a good night’s sleep, taking a relaxing bubble bath are all ways to take care of yourself, and a healthy mind can help you to feel a lot better about yourself.
Also try to get some movement in each day, whether its a quick stretch, a walk or a session at the gym. But make sure you are exercising because you enjoy it and it makes you feel good, rather than to change how you look.
Body positivity and acceptance can be difficult and take time but in the long-run, it can lead to improved well-being and mental health, as well as encourage society to be more inclusive and accepting.
If you are seriously struggling with body image or an eating disorder, you can visit Bodywhys for support.