There's probably an entire list you could rattle off right now if someone asked you what you don't like about your body.
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From your love handles or sagging tummy to those tiny wrinkles on your face, your flaws rundown is probably a little more extensive than you'd like to admit.
Don't worry, as you're not alone, and you don't have to keep going on this way. Not loving your body and accepting it for what it is could be costing you, as body image negativity can result in anxiety, nervousness, and other problems, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Take charge of your happiness by learning how to enjoy your body, using these eight easy ways for better body acceptance.
1. Take A Social Media Break
Believe or not, social media could be playing a part in your less-than-stellar body image. You may be watching the highlight reels of other people, but you're not seeing their struggles or tough times on the road to beauty or body “ideals.”
Seeing only the high points can cause you to think negatively about your body and your life, so kick some of your social media time to the curb, and lose those accounts that make you feel like you're less than other people.
Comparing your body to that of other people is something to avoid in general, both off and on social media. It's your body, your life and your time, so make the best of what you have as opposed to wasting energy on the lives and bodies of others.
2. Get A Pet Or Go On A Date
If you're not in a relationship already, try going on some dates. Having more interaction with other people in a romantic atmosphere is beneficial for a lot of reasons, especially when it comes to your self-awareness. You're able to talk about your dreams and hopes while hearing the stories of other people.
It will also help you realize that you don't down talk other people for their eating habits or extra pounds, and this kindness can transfer over to how you feel about and treat your own body.
Pets are helpful because they cause you to focus on something other than yourself. According to Animal Planet, a pet can give you an instant icebreaker, reduce stress and offer unconditional love that you may need right now. A pet will also teach you how to give and take, and a furry friend can do wonders if you find yourself feeling lonely.
3. Dress Your Body As It Is Now
If you're still clinging onto an old, smaller pair of jeans, it's time to let them go. Chances are your old “smaller” clothes are just serving as a reminder that your body is different now, and that will hold you back from true acceptance of your body as it is today.
When you are constantly looking at old clothes and feeling you need to change something, it's just not healthy, as all that does is add to self-disrespect and to your stress.
Donate your old “skinny” clothes, and buy yourself some nice items that work for your body of today. Dressing yourself can be half the battle when it comes to a positive self-image, so make sure you're giving your body the drapery and look it deserves to feel your best.
4. Focus On Healthiness And Feeling Good
Switch your focus from your external appearance and body ideals to being healthy and feeling great instead. You'll begin to experience a much deeper sense of gratification and a stronger motivation to stay on the road toward your goals when you feel good as opposed to simply looking good.
You'll also become less tolerant of the way your unhealthy choices make you feel. Go with nourishing food that makes you feel your best, exercise to help lose stress and anxiety, and try some meditation to feel more relaxed and at peace.
Part of focusing on how you feel is letting go of the scale. Your weight can fluctuate for a lot of reasons, and constantly stepping on the scale does nothing but make you feel bad about your body and add to your stress levels in many cases.
Feeling good and being healthy is far more important than numbers on a scale, so if you've got this habit, it's time to stop today.
Leave the scale to the doctor's office, and you'll start to feel better about your body in no time.
5. Stop Worrying About Your Weight
Your weight can have a lot of power for just three little numbers. It can be a strong source of stress, worry and concern in your daily life.
If you're allowing your weight to define you as a person, you'll never be able to accept your body. Don't let your weight become the one aspect of your body that sets the whole tone for everything else.
Accept your weight for what it is, and if you do lose some pounds, celebrate that but don't make it your primary focus or concern.
6. Take A Look At What Your Body Can Do
You may find you appreciate your body more when you consider all it can do and has done in the past. For example, if you can exercise without limitations, that's something marvelous. Even if you have limitations, if you can work around them, you still are lucky.
Remember all the wonderful things your body has done, such as given life to a child or lasted for a running marathon, and how fortunate you are to have a body that has done all of those things.
For example, if you can exercise without limitations, that's something marvelous. Even if you have limitations, if you can work around them, you still are lucky.
7. Quiet Your Inner Perfectionist
You'll probably never have perfect abs or other physical features that require a strict diet, an expensive personal trainer and hours upon hours of exercise, and that's perfectly okay.
Don't torture yourself over unrealistic goals. Celebrate what you do have instead, and give your body a little slack.
You wouldn't impose unrealistic body goals on loved ones, so there's no point in doing that to yourself.
8. Learn To Respect The Bodies Of Others
It's pretty hard to respect your own body if you're not able to respect the bodies of others. Have you got the habit of “fat” or “skinny” shaming? It's time to let that stuff go.
When you're pointing out the flaws in other people, all you're really doing is projecting your own internal fears. When you are able to see men and women as the beautiful people they are, you'll be better able to see the beauty in yourself as well.
Learning to love your body as it is will take some time, but it's well worth the effort.
Once you start accepting your body as it is, you'll find you're both happier and freer when it comes to your life and what you want to do with it.