12 Tips To Learn To Love Your Body Just The Way It Is

June 12, 2016

perfect-bodies

When we are constantly bombarded with messages suggesting that only perfectly symmetrical and slender bodies can be beautiful, it can be difficult to love our bodies the way they are.

However, learning to view your body in a more positive light will boost your self-esteem and make life more enjoyable. Keep the following twelve tips in mind if you want to learn how to accept your body as it is.

1. Question your assumptions about ‘perfect bodies’

First of all, take a critical look at where your ideas about beauty come from in the first place. If glossy magazines are your major source of inspiration, it is vital to keep in mind that the bodies and faces in these images are often photoshopped in extreme ways.

A quick internet search will reveal the dramatic changes that beautiful women and gorgeous men are subjected to in order to meet the standards set by the media. Such images create entirely unrealistic ideas that you should only be proud of a body that is utterly free of lines, wrinkles, fat and blemishes.

2. Realize that you are your own worst critic

When you’re interacting with someone, they will typically be listening to what you say and focusing on things like your facial expressions and tone. However, when you’re at home and staring at yourself in the mirror, it’s all too easy to think that every person who crosses your path is immediately able to see all of your flaws.

You can start to correct this mistaken view by considering how you see other people. Do you really notice every little pimple or estimate their waist measurements? If you don’t, the chances are that your friends, co-workers and potential partners are not doing this either.

3. Remember that people have dramatically varying views about attractive bodies

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that everyone has the same preferences when it comes to the way that human bodies look. In truth, for every body type, there is a person who thinks that this body type is the most attractive one in the world.

Men often worry that perfectly sculpted abs and a chiseled, masculine jaw are the key to a woman’s heart, but many women are very attracted to skinnier men with boyish physiques or to men carrying a little extra weight.

Similarly, not all men are hunting for a girl with a tiny waist and enormous bust. Whether you have a curvy body or worry that you’re too flat-chested, there’s someone out there who would think you’re ideal.
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4. Try your best to focus on the aspects of your body that you like

Even popular celebrities and people whose looks tend to inspire envy will have bits and pieces of their bodies that make them feel insecure or unattractive.

You can take a significant step towards loving your body just the way it is if you take the time to notice the things about yourself that are truly remarkable and often draw praise.

Have your friends said that they wish they had hair that looks like yours?

Do you have particularly large and bright eyes? If it helps, make some notes of compliments that you have received, and keep this list around to remind yourself of how others see you.

5. Practice positive affirmations

If you spend enough time focusing on positive thoughts or ideas, you can start to incorporate them into your regular beliefs.

For example, you might want to consider taping a list of things you like about your body to your mirror, and reading that list out loud when you get up in the morning.

Alternatively, you might express your love for yourself while looking in the mirror, and state that your confidence is growing.

While affirmations can seem silly at first, it is possible for them to make a real difference to the way that you see yourself and your body.

6. Think about how to flatter your body shape

It’s easier to love your body when you find clothes that make it look its best.

Give some thought to your proportions and figure out how you can dress to draw attention to these (while, if you must, also working to conceal the parts that you don’t like).

If you have long, slender legs then you might want to invest in some shorter skirts that you can pair with eye-catching hosiery.

Meanwhile, if you’ve worked hard at the gym to create muscular arms that make you feel good about yourself, a sleeveless top will help to make these a focal point.

7. Discount any negative comments that haunt you

If you were bullied at school, put down by a ‘friend’ or verbally abused by a former partner, it can be very hard to get rid of the self-image that these insults created. However, remember that these comments don’t necessarily reflect reality.

For example, you might have been mocked as a child for having red hair (simply because it’s relatively unusual), but in adulthood you should know that plenty of men love a redhead. Meanwhile, that friend who gave you critical looks and told you that they were ‘just being honest’ when they suggested you lose a few pounds may well have been jealous of you all along.

8. Think about function rather than just appearance

More reasons to love your body will emerge if you consider everything that your body has accomplished in your lifetime. While mothers can feel self-conscious about changes like stretch marks that are caused by pregnancy, women can develop a real sense of pride in the signs that they have brought another human being into the world.

However, there are plenty of other things to be proud of as well. Have you excelled at a sport? Have you fought to defeat a difficult period of illness? Does your partner compliment your sexual skills?

These are all reasons to love the body you have.

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9. Focus on having a healthy body

If you are in good shape, try to view this as being more important than whether you conform to the aforementioned standards set by magazines and commercials.

To be in good shape, you should have decent endurance, be fairly strong and have a healthy, balanced diet.

If you can outrun your skinnier peers or know that you have fewer preventable health problems than most people your age, these are reasons to be very proud of your body just the way it is.

Fitness and health are much more significant to overall wellbeing than whether you think you look like a model when you hit the beach.

10. See the people you love in your own body

Our bodies share certain traits and qualities that can be seen in our family members.

Sometimes, focusing on these outward signs of your relationship to the people that you love can help you to love your body a bit more. For example, do you feel that you have your mother’s lovely eyes, or do you see your father’s smile on your own face when you are happy?

If you have children, seeing them as beautiful can also help to change the way you see yourself. You might feel that your daughter is the prettiest thing in the world, and feel touched when people say that she looks just like you.

11. Take the time to pamper your body

Allocating special periods of time to focus on taking care of your body can boost your self-esteem as well as your mental or emotional health. There are many ways to pamper your body, depending on your preferences.

For some people, nothing beats a long, luxurious soak in a hot bath filled with bubbles. For others, the pinnacle of relaxation comes during a professional massage.

Other ideas include going for soothing beauty treatments, spending a day at a spa, signing up for regular yoga classes or going to ask for a daring new haircut. Whatever you choose, the goal is to make yourself feel that little bit more special.

12. Don’t let age bring you down

Another common obstacle to loving your body relates to the natural signs of aging, as we tend to assume that beauty is something that is only possessed by the young.

However, don’t forget that a woman’s sexual peak is in her 30s, and that aging also comes with more wisdom, more life experience and more self-knowledge.

Crucially, try to learn how to see the signs of aging as things you can accept or even love.

Just as stretch marks from pregnancy are a memento of your time carrying your child inside you, laughter lines can remind you of how much you value the humor of your friends or your partner.

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