Working toward a positive relationship with one’s body can be a lifelong process. As we are well aware, worries about weight and appearance begin in early childhood. Girls as young as five years old are talking about wanting to be skinnier as well as their fear of becoming fat. And while accepting our bodies doesn’t mean that we’re always comfortable with how we look or feel, the ultimate goal is to reach a point where we experience positive feelings more often than we do negative ones. After all, it is both natural and human to experience occasional insecurities and/ or doubts.
So here are some tips on how we can develop a more healthy and positive body relationship:
- Commit to wanting a positive relationship with your body.
- Take the time and energy needed to care for your physical body. When we take of our bodies, we learn to appreciate them as they are for what they do for us day in and day out.
- Make healthy choices for your body.
- Look at yourself as a complete entity rather than the sum of your individual parts.
- Find things about other people that you can complement or appreciate that are not physical or body related.
- Make a list of 10 things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your appearance and review it often.
- Avoid any negative or berating talk about yourself.
- Stop judging other people’s bodies. If you change the narrative, you stop believing that bodies are a valid measure of a person’s value.
- If you are not quite ready to be body positive right now, practice body neutrality by focusing on the function of your various body parts, versus why you are dissatisfied or unhappy with them.
While these tips might seem small or inconsequential, if you are able to commit to even a couple of them, you will be surprised to see how they can affect the level of comfort that you feel in your own skin. And, studies find that practicing body positivity leads to better overall mental health as well as less disordered eating behaviors.
If you have any suggestions or tips for things that help you better appreciate your body and build a positive relationship with it, I’d so appreciate if you would share them.