Body acceptance means approving and loving your body despite its real or percieved imperfections, allowing a diversity of bodies in the world.
Saying “thank you” to others is something you learn at an early age. But how often do you thank yourself? Saying “thank you” to your body is one of the most important thinks you can do, especially when you’re pursuing a life of self-love and wellness. It’s not a habit that comes naturally because society is constantly telling us to change ourselves to fit a socially accepted standard.
Embracing your body therefore allows you to refuse to accept body shaming.
If you struggle to love and embrace your body, you are not alone. I haven’t met anyone who has told me that they wouldn’t change one think about their bodies, including people who are incredibly fit or have great self-esteem. We all look in the mirror and find something we would like to change on ourselves sometimes. It almost feels like we are obligated to find something wrong or that we have conditioned, especially in women, to think that feeling good about our bodies makes us narcissistic. We all can be a little too hard on ourselves sometimes. Here at Flourish we know insecurities can arise starting at a young age, no doubt with messages we receive from TV and the pressure of social media. By taking little concrete steps, we can learn to accept and even LOVE our bodies just the way they are. This not only brings immediate results mentally and physically, but also helps model healthy behaviour for future generations.
Embrace your individuality – Comparing yourself to others is anxiety-provoking and unrealistic. No one is perfect – whatever perfect even means.
Make a list of what you love about yourself and what you are grateful for – Think about the compliments you have recieved and write those down. Perhaps it is the colour of your eyes, your personality, your good health, or your smile.
Work towards healing trauma and letting go of thoughts and feelings that do not serve you – Trauma gets stored in our cells and physical memory and leads to a feeling of being disconnected. It is difficult to embrace your body if you do not feel like it is a part of you. Grounding exercises like being in nature, taking Epsom salt baths, and meditations are helpful.
Slow down – We live in such a fast-paced environment. Give yourself permission to slow down, enjoy the special moments, and take care of yourself. Here are a few different ways to slow down in your daily life. Eat slowly. Every time you eat, make it a point to sit down without distractions. Make sure you chew slowly and actually taste what you are eating. This simple practice is a game changer in how you feel in your body every day. Breathe. During the day, take a couple of minutes to just breathe. Take 10 deep breaths and check in with your body. Allow yourself to re-center and refocus before you move on with your daily tasks. Rest. If you can tell that your body or your mind is overly exhausted, it’s important you allow yourself to give your body what it needs. Going to bed early without finishing the dishes is okay. Skipping your workout so you can get home early to veg out on the couch is okay. We don’t praise rest as much as we should.
Mirror Work – You look in the mirror daily. This can be very negative experience for many because of the unkind inner dialogue you hear. Don’t listen to those words. Instead, when you look in the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and say, “I love you.” “You look amazing.” “I am grateful for my body.” Self-talk is proven to work. You can also put a few notes on your mirror with positive, loving reminders.
Find your place of bliss – We should all have that one place we can go to and feel blissful. Think about where you love to go. Is it a walk along the water? A hangout with friends? A workout class? An art class? Self-love is about filling up your own cup. When your cup is full, you can better serve others.
Ask for help – Self-love is asking for help. When you’re having a hard time, you’ll be surprised that most people do want to be there for you. It may be hard to be vulnerable and ask for help, but one of the best ways to get through a tough time is getting the support you need.
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