It starts with the mirror test
Let’s be honest with ourselves, we are our own worst critics and many of us can't resist pointing out our flaws. How many times have we been in front of the mirror examining our insecurities? Those couple of stretch marks, our cellulite, our bulky behinds, those saggy boobs or those wrinkle on our foreheads. It’s not difficult to do, we either attempt to hide these imperfections, usually quite skilfully, and try to forget about them all until the next time we’re in front of a mirror, or we think about it again and again to the point that a slight imperfection becomes an obsession.
Be kinder to yourself
Imperfections can have a real negative impact on our life. Yes, thinking positively about your body isn’t that easy for everyone. Having a bad self-image can cause psychological and physical damage which leads to a whole list of issues, including loss of self-confidence, an unhealthy shyness, a permanent feeling of worthlessness, anorexia, depression, addiction… The list of bad things we can inflict on ourselves is long and a tad demoralising. So, the time has come to drop down your weapons and make peace with yourself!
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5 Tips on how you can begin to like and appreciate your body
1. Accept yourself for who you are and don't compare yourself
Guess what: you are unique! Indeed, no human being is like you, so wanting to look like Emily Ratajkowski or Kylie Jenner at all costs is just a waste of time. So, why do we do it? We always tend to forget, but our body is not a sexual object. Many of us go out of our way to meet a sexual norm. And the less we are able to achieve this, despite our efforts, the more we consider ourselves worthless and the more we hate ourselves. Accepting our uniqueness means accepting our body as it is, not because we can’t change it, but because we want to look like ourselves and no one else!
2. Sort through your wardrobe
There is a tendency towards minimalism, and that’s so much better. The more items we accumulate, the more we fill our mind with unhelpful thoughts and, believe it or not, that has an impact on our body. For starters, let’s get rid of clothes that don’t fit us anymore. Rather than trying over and over again to fit into the same jeans that don’t do anything for us, let’s give them away. The same goes for the thousands of face creams and eye shadows or tubes of lipstick. Let’s now focus on the things that really suit us, that make our skin look good, that make us look beautiful, that are made for us. Because what can be more demoralising than, day after day, lugging around with us a breast support that crushes our chest or a cream which doesn’t really help our skin problem?
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3. Take care of yourself
Making peace with your body also means reconnecting with it, by caring for it. Eating healthier, doing a bit of sport, putting on a facial mask, getting a haircut, getting a tattoo… To make peace with your body you have to be kind to yourself and your body whilst trying not to neglect yourself as best you can. You then re-establish a physical relationship with your body.
The best thing of all is that by loving your body, you can also learn how to be, and stay, yourself.
4. Stop being self-centred
It’s impossible to trust ourselves if we don’t turn to others. Instead of becoming withdrawn by asking ourselves what others might think of us, how about we start, for example, taking an interest in what others are doing with their lives. You’ll soon see that during these conversations you will forget about your red blotches, your bulges, your spots…
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5. Be grateful for what you have and what you are
It might seem stupid, but after experiencing hardship, binge drinking, giving birth, sometimes overcoming illness, we could maybe thank our body. Saying thank you to it means being kind and gentle, and is the start of a reconciliation process. It’s a way of creating a positive feeling about our body. Of course, we don’t need to thank our body every morning, because sometimes, you just won’t want to. But every now and then you should set aside a time to show thanks. It will be good for you!
Editor’s advice – Stop focusing on perfectionism
Always demanding more and never being satisfied is exactly what perfectionism is. It’s also a great way to never make any progress, to never change your behaviour and, in this case, to never succeed in making peace with yourself.
Whilst it’s impossible to meet the high standards we set ourselves, that doesn’t mean you should let yourself go and then see what happens. No, it means you should accept yourself as you are, be kind and do what you have to in order to change what you have the power to change.
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