From Masters Channel
The pressure that today’s society can place on looking “perfect” or meeting some body standard ideal can be immense. We are inundated with expectations of thin women, muscular men and perfectly symmetrical features. These standards, while unrealistic, have lead many of us to harbor dissatisfaction, unhappiness and general negativity towards how we feel about our bodies, no matter how beautiful they really are. Here are nine simple steps you can take to loving and accepting your body.
1. Make yourself aware of your negative thoughts. When you look at your body, actively reflect on your mental and emotional reactions. Identify the negative thoughts that come to mind, and ask yourself why you feel this way. Becoming aware of your negative thoughts and their origins is the first step in banishing them and replacing them with positive, loving, healthy feelings about your body.
2. Surround yourself with positive people. Positivity is contagious! Surround yourself with people who love themselves, and more importantly love and accept you just the way you are. Join a support group or confide in supportive friends and family members who will support your physical and emotional happiness. Subjecting yourself to critical, judgmental energy is unhealthy and unfair to you.
3. Take care of your body. Instead of focusing on reaching the “perfect” size or shape, strive to create a body that is healthy and strong. Drink plenty of water every day. Eat well, nourishing your body with wholesome foods that provide the energy and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and perform at its peak. Show your body that you love it by giving it the care it deserves.
4. Reject unrealistic standards. Ask yourself whose body you’re comparing your body to. The answer often is, unfortunately, the unrealistic and sometimes very unhealthy “ideals” of famous actresses and models. Realize that not only do these celebrities employ full-time personal trainers and dieticians, but the images that grace the covers of magazines are frequently airbrushed, retouched and Photoshopped beyond recognition. Be skeptical of the standards that the media often offers.
5. Seek beauty instead of flaws. Looking in the mirror, it’s far too easy to zero in on an upper arm that jiggles in a way you don’t like, or a stomach that isn’t as flat as you think it should be. Instead of honing in on the negatives, retrain yourself to seek the beauty in your physical appearance. Whether it’s making yourself notice the beautiful color or shape of your eyes, the charming curve of your lips when you smile, or long and delicate fingers, seek out and appreciate the beauty of your body.
6. Keep a list of what you love. Acknowledge what you love about yourself, and put it in writing. When negative thoughts begin to creep their way into the front of your mind, banish them with a written list of traits – both internal and external – that make you feel good about yourself. After making your own list, you might ask a friend or loved one to add something they love about you. It could open your eyes to something beautiful that you’d never noticed.
7. Wear the right clothes. Don’t hide your body in shapeless clothing. Dress in a way that fits your body, is comfortable and makes you feel good. Experiment with styles, don’t fear judgment, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Fashion is about taking risks and having fun – enjoy it!
8. Realize what your body does for you. Instead of thinking negatively about your body, think about what you couldn’t do without it. Your body allows you to dance, to jump for joy, to hug your loved ones and play with your kids. Feel the air in your lungs, let the sun warm your skin, and appreciate what your body gives you every day.
9. Focus on what’s inside. “True beauty is more than skin deep.” This phrase is repeated so often that it’s easy to dismiss it as a cliché. However, it could not be more true. Take a moment to think about your loved ones, and consider the characteristics that make them such a special part of your life. Do you love your best friend because she is thin, or because of her sharp wit and adventurous spirit? Is it your sister’s beautiful hair that comes to mind, or her kindness and compassion? The people in your life who love you do so because of the inner beauty that you add to their lives.
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Categories: Spirit Matters