You can listen to the audio version of this article.
The body positivity movement is an excellent way to help women and men of all sizes and colours feel happier about their appearance.
Body positivity means accepting, appreciating, and respecting your body and refraining from responding to the need to change how you look. As you spend more time practising the core concepts of body positivity, you’ll gradually begin to feel better about your body.
While this movement can certainly improve your self-image, it isn’t easy to change deep-rooted thoughts you may have about yourself. Body negativity is a simple trap to fall into, especially when you may be surrounded by people and opinions that encourage negative thoughts.
Considering this, you should keep a few things in mind as you begin to embrace body positivity. We’ll go over these suggestions below to get you started.
Avoiding judgement is incredibly important as you begin to practice body positivity.
Due to the influences of social media and television, comparisons are easy to make. A certain image is often portrayed as stereotypically beautiful and not matching that can make you feel awful.
As a result, you’ll judge yourself for not meeting the standards you believe are expected of you. The problem with this is that beauty is subjective and there is no specific look you should be aspiring towards.
Everyone has a different body and is beautiful in their unique way. Remember this and accept your body as it is – as it should be. Judgements will only bring you down and make it harder to feel good about yourself.
On the other side of this, you must be careful to avoid judging others. Refrain from spending time overanalysing the appearances of other people and making any comparisons. Body positivity is about acceptance, meaning that you should also be respectful of how others look.
Judgement and comparison are difficult to resist, but you must avoid them if you want to be body positive.
You should also gain perspective on your situation to help you see the bigger picture.
When there’s something you don’t like about yourself, it’s easy to focus on it and make yourself miserable. If you aren’t thrilled about your body, it can certainly harm your mental state.
While this thought process is understandable, it is also flawed because your body does not speak to who you are as a person, what you’re capable of, or your worth.
In contrast, your body is mostly insignificant. You had no control over your genetics, what you look like, or what your body type is like. Ruminating on it won’t change anything.
This also means that you should pay more attention to your positive qualities. What are you good at? Maybe you’re thoughtful, intelligent, funny, or an excellent parent.
You surely have something you’re amazing at that matters much more than your body. Whatever it is, it’s what makes you an incredible person and why the people around you love you. Looks fade over time, but your character does not and that’s what matters.
Remember that your body is perfect the way it is and doesn’t change who you are.
Learning to care for yourself can be a major struggle, so celebrating your victories is crucial.
Body positivity can be difficult when you’ve spent so long thinking and feeling differently. It requires an active effort to maintain and some days you just might not feel your best.
To combat this, you should make a point to recognise what you do well. Maybe you go a few days without stepping on a scale or overanalysing your calorie intake.
Things like this may seem small, but they speak to the bigger picture and how you’re gradually feeling less concerned about how your body looks. Recognising these moments will remind yourself that you are making progress toward naturally loving how you look.
When you do make progress, take the time to thank yourself for making the effort, and don’t be afraid to reward yourself. Arguably the best way you can do this is by practising amazing self-care. A nice bath or a massage also works well.
As you become more body positive, don’t forget to celebrate your victories along the way to keep you motivated and uplifted.
Prioritise emotional well-being
A final consideration is to prioritise your emotional well-being during your body positivity journey.
Body positivity has a direct focus on your body, but it also involves your mind. Your body and mind are interconnected, meaning that the way one is feeling affects the other.
Because of this, your state of mind affects how you’ll feel about your body. Constantly being in low spirits will almost surely make you feel poorly about your appearance. On the other hand, managing your emotions makes you more equipped to maintain a body-positive outlook.
Managing your emotional well-being revolves around doing the things that bring you joy. Perhaps there’s a good meal you enjoy or maybe you love watching old movies. Whatever it is, indulge yourself!
The more time you spend doing what you love, the better you’ll feel overall. This will nurture your soul and translate to stronger feelings of body positivity.
Anyone can be body positive if they understand what they’ll face during their journey. Negative thoughts and influences won’t disappear overnight, so you must put in extra effort to stay strong.
If you want to be sustainably body positive, you should remember a few things. This includes avoiding judgement, gaining perspective about yourself, celebrating your victories, and prioritising your emotional well-being.
As you become more body positive, you’ll feel much more comfortable and happy about your appearance. Everyone deserves to feel good about their body.
Image credit: Freepik
Dina Relojo is the social media manager of Psychreg. She is a licensed teacher from the Philippines.
Disclaimer: Psychreg is mainly for information purposes only. Materials on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on this website. Read our full disclaimer here.