Do you often find yourself picking apart your physical appearance? Redirect your energy towards a more positive mindset, and rediscover all the amazing things your body does for you.
BY: REBEKAH STORM
It’s not easy to start liking your body when you’re hyper-focused on your appearance. One of the best ways to get started is by thinking of your body as a tool rather than a project.
There’s a saying that goes like this, “your body is not a work of art, your body is the paint brush. Your life is the work of art, and your body helps you create your life.”
So often, we get too caught up in “having the perfect paint brush”, when it’s really more about how you use it. Here are a few practical ways to stay mindfully aware, and learn to like your body.
1. EXERCISE TO BE HEALTHY
Instead of focusing on the physical results of losing weight or “toning up”, tell yourself you want to run to have a strong heart. Lift weights to be strong, move yourself to celebrate the things you can do in this body. You don’t have to wait until you look a certain way to do things. Do them now, and have fun with it!
2. EAT TO BE HEALTHY
When you’re eating, try telling yourself you’re doing this to fuel your body in a healthy way. Feel yourself when you’re hungry and give your body the food it’s telling you it needs. That might be pizza, broccoli, peanut butter, whatever you feel your body is telling you will make it feel good. Your body knows what it needs, you don’t need to overcomplicate it with diets.
3. DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY
When’s the last time you read a book for pleasure? Do you allow yourself to enjoy your leisure time? Do you give yourself leisure time? You have permission to rest and recover. When you give yourself time and space to do things that make you happy, you’ll find fulfillment in places other than your appearance. Soon, you’ll be less preoccupied with the way you look.
4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO TALK POSITIVELY ABOUT THEIR BODY
Be careful whose beliefs and opinions you’re letting into your head. It’s true that you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around, so choose wisely, my friend. Take notice if people in your life are always talking about food or exercise in a “punishment/reward” mindset, or perhaps they talk about appearance way too much. Find people who make you feel lighter and happier when you’re around them.
5. CHOOSE ONE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF OTHER THAN YOUR LOOKS
Focusing on your appearance isn’t going to help you like your body more. If you start liking yourself for other reasons (maybe you’re funny, smart, kind), it’s going to be easier to like your body. Why? Because your body allows you to do those things! You can’t be kind to others without using your body.
6. FIND ONE PART OF YOUR BODY YOU’RE VERY THANKFUL FOR
Imagine how you’d feel if tomorrow you were paralyzed? Or you went blind or deaf. We are so fortunate to have fully functioning bodies, so why are do we become preoccupied with the way they look when they’re able to perform their function? You have arms that hold your dog or your children, be thankful they work.e jewelry you have and own the fact you’re a powerful woman who can take on the world.
7. TRY A NEW BODY CARE PRODUCT
This one has a twist: try one that doesn’t promise a specific appearance-based result. Focus on something that will take care of your body, such as hydrating your skin, and not a new wrinkle cream or acne spot gel product. When we focus on getting invisible pores, we are subconsciously telling ourselves the way we look is ‘bad’, and that must be changed.
8. THROW OUT CLOTHES YOU DON’T LIKE
If certain clothing doesn’t make you feel good, don’t wear it. You will start liking your body more if you raise the standards of what’s acceptable for you to wear. Don’t settle for clothes that aren’t comfortable. Wear things that make you feel good, and don’t hold onto clothes you want to fit into again. It’s a mental game you shouldn’t waste energy on.
9. COMPLIMENT OTHER PEOPLE
You find what you’re looking for, so if you’re looking for negativity, you’ll find it. But if you’re looking for positivity and reasons to like yourself, you’ll find that, too. If it feels impossible to find things you like about your body, try seeing good things in other people first. Say good things about people when they’re not around, then practice saying encouraging things to their faces. When we spread positivity, it comes back to us.
10. TALK WITH A COACH OR MENTOR
If you need more support, get an objective perspective on your struggles. Friends and family are great, but sometimes they’re subconsciously trying to keep you down at their level. Misery loves company, so be very careful of who you’re taking advice from. The people closest to you are often the reason you’re thinking this way in the first place. You can’t fix what’s broken with the people who broke you.
Remember, it is absolutely possible to work through what’s holding you back from living a life of freedom and peace. There is proof out in the world that you don’t need to look a certain way in order to be happy.
After all, happiness is an inside job.
Adapted from the original article.
Rebekah Storm is a confidence expert who helps successful women feel as good on the inside as their life looks on the outside. She believes confidence is a practice, not a personality trait. Her advice has been featured by Bustle, The Every Girl, Elite Daily, Thrive Global, Brit & Co, and more. When she’s not coaching private clients and hosting her top rated podcast, Confidently She, you will find Rebekah snuggled with her dogs and a bowl of popcorn watching Netflix. You can find her at rebekahstorm.com and @therebekahstorm on all social media. Start building your confidence with her free guide, Thoughts That Uplift.