Did you know that 70% of women and 45% of men would say that they are not happy with their bodies? That’s a huge percent of the population! If you find yourself feeling low about your own body, you’re not alone. One of the best ways to start becoming more body positive is through making small changes daily that will long term give you a better outlook on yourself and the world around you. Here are 10 of our favorite ways to remind ourselves that our bodies are a gift!
1. Positive affirmations
One of the most basic and effective ways we can practice self-love is to speak it aloud and speak it often, especially when it feels hard to be grateful for our bodies. Give yourself daily, verbal encouragements and reminders. This may mean saying a kind thing to yourself in the mirror in the morning or placing encouraging sticky notes on your bedside table. Look for self-love and body-positive mantras that speak to you.
2. Think healthier, not skinnier
When you’re making meals, or when you’re hitting the gym, don’t frame your fitness goals according to a number you’d like to see on the scale. Exercise and a healthy diet shouldn’t be punishment, it is just one way we show respect and appreciation for our bodies. Instead of thinking about how much your body weighs, or how it’s shaped, think about all the amazing things it can do, all the places it can take you, how it feels, and the experience it brings you. Then honor it with nourishing meals and exercises that you ENJOY.
3. Compliment others freely
When we open ourselves up to be kind to others, it also opens us up to be kinder to ourselves. Give someone a compliment you wished you’d gotten when you needed it most. Be a light in someone’s day today, the feelings will come back full circle.
4. Surround yourself with positivity
Negative messages about body image are all around us, and they have a way of weaseling themselves into our thoughts and antagonizing our insecurities. Look for positive people, people who practice self-love, and people who will encourage you to be who you are.
5. Focus on the things you like about yourself
Every time a negative thought about your body pops into your mind, counter it with something positive. Try making lists of the things you like about your body. And not just how it looks, but the things it allows you to do. List it all out. We’re naturally inclined to look for our dissatisfactions and overlook the good things. To break out of that way of thinking, it will take daily repetition.
6. Stop comparing yourself to others
People come in all shapes sizes, and colors, and isn’t that how it should be? Imagine how boring it would be if there were only one way to be, and to feel, beautiful. Comparing yourself to others is a battle that can never be won, so just do you best not to do it at all!
7. Cut out negative self-talk
Treat your body with the same kindness you’d treat a friend. And if whatever you’re about to say about your body is something you’d feel bad saying about a friend’s body, then don’t say it! You don’t deserve verbal abuse from anybody, especially from yourself.
8. Absorb body positive messages
Balance negative noise out with some good, positive perspectives. There is a lot of great literature out there about body image, and many readers have found them to be a huge help in their journeys. Local FITDC Ambassador and Influencer Dani Sauter @blonde_inthedistrict has tons of body positive posts and info on her Instagram site as well as her own personal blog found here.
9. Do something nice for your body
When’s the last time you gave your body a gift just to say, hey, thanks for sticking with me? Carve out some time to go lay in the grass, take a bubble bath, or get a fancy coffee. Thank your body for its many gifts it gives you daily!
10. Focus on your whole person
A key piece of having a healthy body image is to stop fixating on your body. Try to spend more time thinking about things other than physical appearance. Go throw yourself into your passions. Pick up a new hobby. Catch a movie with a friend. Make something. Your body isn’t just a decoration for looking at; it’s for doing. So, get out there and get doing.