Updated: Feb 3
If you have struggled with body image issues, you are not alone. 91% of women have reported that they do not like the way their body looks and have resorted to dieting to change it.
As a result, eating disorders like constant fasting or dieting can develop and lead to an unhappy and unhealthy life.
In a society that celebrates digitally altered versions of “perfection” and unrealistic beauty standards, it can be difficult to love yourself as you are.
You have to make it a point to consciously combat the negative body image messages you see in the media, hear from your friends, or even your own family. Here are a few methods you can start implementing today to increase your self-love.
The Body Gratitude Exercise
No, this exercise does not require any gym equipment. This meditation exercise challenges you to think of all the ways your body has benefited you recently. Think about all the good things your body allows you to do.
Maybe you saw a beautiful sunset or fought off illness. Perhaps you were able to hear your newborn child giggle as you lifted them above your head.
Whatever the case, this exercise focuses your attention on the small rewards your body gives you daily and allows you to express gratitude for them.
Yoga is as much a mental exercise as it is physical, challenging you to stay centered and not allow your swirling thoughts to knock you off balance.
As a form of natural anxiety relief, yoga encourages you to let go of harmful stress built up in your mind and find the root of your discomfort.
With the root of your stress identified, you can now take positive actions to change it and rewrite your story. The best part about yoga is how accessible it is!
There are plenty of studios that are open for business and tons of guided sessions on YouTube that you can try out in the comfort of your own home.
Loving your body means more than looking in the mirror and loving what you see; it means taking care of your body too!
Giving yourself a massage can soothe muscle pain, lessen the frequency of headaches, and reduce stress or anxiety. It’s also completely free!
Healthline published an article that includes step by step instructions for conducting a self-massage on various parts of the body.
Light some candles, put on relaxing music, dim the lights, and take some much-needed time to focus on yourself. Try and make this a daily or weekly appointment with yourself so you can decompress and take time to appreciate your body.
You Only Get One Body…
So, try your hardest to love and nurture it! These tactics are merely a starting point. But they have been proven to increase positive self-image and self-love in those who have used them. We hope you can benefit from them as well!
KQH Mental Health Counseling is a private practice that provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families. To learn more about our services or book a consultation, be sure to visit our website.