Katy Beskow looks at practical steps to body positivity to help you to improve your body confidence and embrace the wonderful person you are.
There are times in all of our lives when we don’t feel confident about the way we look, whether it’s due to natural changes in our appearance or comparing ourselves to others.
While we can acknowledge how we are feeling, it is important not to let these thoughts lower our confidence. Katy Beskow looks at practical ways to invite more body positivity into your life to help you embrace what makes you unique.
1. Take compliments
It’s lovely to receive a compliment, whether from a friend or stranger, but all too often we reply with a negative. It could be an instant reply of “no, I don’t” to someone saying you look nice today, or “it’s a mess!” to a compliment about your hair.
Don’t undervalue yourself. Even if a compliment is about a body feature you don’t feel confident with, smile and thank them, because they wanted to make you feel good, and you deserve to feel good.
2. Cut out the criticism
Do you talk negatively to yourself about your body? Whether you tell yourself that your thighs are too big, your hair is too wispy, or your skin isn’t flawless, consider this rule: talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend or loved one.
Would you say those things to them? It’s unlikely, and unkind, so don’t talk to yourself that way. Celebrate your uniqueness, and mute negative body thoughts by challenging it with positivity and care.
3. Get the right fit
Buying and wearing clothing that fits is a positive step towards feeling body confident. It may seem simple, but clothes that fit are more flattering, more comfortable, and will create less worry about how you look to others.
A larger label size is not a sign of failure, but a celebration of who you are at this moment. If you’ve spent years wearing certain clothes because you want to cover up what you’ve considered as flaws, it’s time to embrace your body and wear what makes you happy and confident.
4. More than a body
You’re not just a physical body. You’re a holistic person made up of a unique personality, kindness, ambition, thoughts and experiences. You are much more than a body in the mirror. Note all the things you like about yourself, ignoring anything physical, to understand that true beauty always lies within.
5. Treat yourself
Whether you’re feeling positive or negative about your body image (it fluctuates for us all!), give your body daily pampering and TLC.
It could be using a favourite cruelty-free shower gel, moisturising daily with a gentle lotion, or making a homemade face mask. Treat your skin, hair and body with the love they deserve.
6. Indulge yourself
Food isn’t just about health, but also about enjoyment. Choosing the ‘healthier’ options won’t always make you feel good about yourself, so sometimes have what you fancy without worrying about the impact it may have on the shape of your body.
Indulge in comfort food without the guilt, as part of a balanced attitude around food and body image.
7. Don’t compare
In a world where social media platforms are visited multiple times per day, we can view strangers and celebrities’ lifestyles, bodies and routines. It is healthy to remind yourself not to compare yourself to others. After all, comparison is a thief of joy.
It’s important to remember that what’s on social media is the best bits –a flawless selfie may have taken 50 attempts and a beauty filter.
Instead of feeling worse because you don’t share the same features or body as someone else, be grateful for the body and features you do have.
Challenge negative thoughts about your body by having gratitude for all the wonderful things it does for you. Legs are too chunky? They help you lead an active lifestyle.
Skin around eyes have wrinkles? It’s proof of all the laughs you’ve had over the years. Celebrate all of the wonderful things your body does to keep you safe, healthy, and able to enjoy the fun things!
9. Move on up
Instead of thinking about exercise as something to ‘shape up’ your body, appreciate it for how it makes you feel. It’s easy to see exercise as ‘punishment’, but instead, enjoy the endorphin rush and holistic benefits to your physical and mental health.
Find an exercise you love, be it dancing in the kitchen, or park runs with others. All movement will get those endorphins flowing!
10. Share it
Surround yourself with people who express body positivity for themselves and others. Challenge those around you who use negative language or phrases about varying body sizes and shapes by being a good role model in celebrating beauty in diversity.
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