For many people, learning how to be happy with their bodies is a life-long process. From the trials and tribulations of adolescence to the flabbiness of sedentary adulthood, all age stages present certain challenges that must be overcome if one is to maintain a healthy outlook on life.
Luckily, there are certain tips and tricks that, if properly employed, can help you relax and accept your body with all its flaws and imperfections, including the following time-tested strategies.
Tips To Love Your Body
1. Overcoming Preconceptions
The vast majority of cultures around the world have some sort of preconceptions in place about the human body. Whether it’s the current Western obsession for tanning, China’s long-term pursuit of whiter skin, or the numerous bizarre standards from more remote parts of the world, it’s clear that our ideas about beauty are not constant and may even seem arbitrary in some instances.
Particularly if you’ve grown up in a household that was preoccupied with maintaining appearances, you may find it hard to overcome preconceptions at first, but it’s something that can be achieved with a little bit of dedication. Start by forbidding yourself from judging other people’s appearances and practice fortitude when you feel other people are judging yours.
2. Not Worrying Too Much
In this day and age, with studies about various health hazards seemingly cropping up left and right, it can be hard to tell what’s what anymore.
Our desire for leading a healthy lifestyle has in some cases deteriorated to outright obsession. The so-called “healthy eating disorder” also known as orthorexia, is affecting a growing number of people each year.
While no one doubts the validity of following a healthy diet, maintaining a relaxed mindset can be just as important. When the obsession with finding the right kinds of foods overwhelms everything else, it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate your standing.
3. Acknowledging Your Body
Especially in the Western world, the body is perceived as being a largely separate entity from the mind. Illnesses are treated allopathically, with the focus on curing the symptoms and not the underlining causes of various dysfunctions, and a heavy predilection for pharmacological intervention.
In such circumstances, it’s no wonder that most people are thoroughly disconnected from their bodies, and end up viewing them as an extraneous feature they barely have any control over. Avoid this by engaging in regular body practices such as yoga or tai chi, where the goal is to become more aware of your physical being and more present in your daily life.
4. Being Proactive
While most of the previous steps focus on relaxing and accepting your body as it is, it’s important to understand that you also have the option of making things better through proactive efforts.
As long as they don’t devolve into obsessions, the practice of healthy eating and regular exercise can work wonders for the body and help boost self-esteem as well.
Try to make a list with two columns, one for healthy foods that you also like, and one for physical activities you enjoy engaging in, and then start integrating elements from both into your day-to-day existence.
5. Realizing That Confidence Trumps Perfection
Let’s face it: one of the main reasons why most of us tend to obsess about our own bodies has to do with our ability to attract potential partners.
Despite what you might think, most people see their flaws magnified and work hard at fixing them or at least hiding them from view. Which is why it may come as a surprise that science has proven time and time again that it’s confidence, not attraction, that is most instrumental when it comes to attracting others.
Simply put, feeling good about yourself will make you more appealing than having a perfect nose ever will, so learn to relax, smile and make eye contact and you’ll already be on the fast track to success.
All in all, learning to love your body is one of the best things you can do in life. It is also an absolute pre-condition to being able to love somebody else in a healthy and sustainable fashion.
Although it may take you a while before you truly learn the value of body positivity, chances are that it’s a lesson that will stick with you once you’ve managed to integrate it into your life.