No matter how confident you are, we’re willing to bet there are some days where you completely forget how to love your body. Rest assured that this is one of the most relatable struggles ever. We’ve all been there: You and your bod are doing just fine until you scroll down your Instagram feed and see your fitness crush and her perfectly chiseled abs staring back at you. You logically know that both her body and yours are awesome, but… Hey, you can’t be programmed for your entire life to view some bodies as inherently “better” than others without a little of that conditioning creeping into even your now-woke, adult brain.
Not to mention, our own bodies evolve so much that even if we overcome the social order to chase some “ideal” body, we can still easily get attached to our own looking or functioning a certain way. What happens when our bodies no longer do?
Over the course of a lifetime, the human body undergoes so many changes that it makes total sense if you don’t always love your body every step of the way.
Since we could all use a little encouragement when it comes to appreciating our wonderful physical forms, we’re here to give you (and ourselves) major boost in the self-confidence department on those days when loving you’re body isn’t the easiest thing to do.
1Replace negative thoughts with kind ones.
So, you and your body aren’t exactly besties at the moment because of every little imperfection you’ve noticed. As irrational as it sounds, you feel like your body has betrayed you, and to be quite frank, you’re not sure things between you will ever be the same again.
Now that you’ve let your body have it for not being #flawless, sit down and write out a list of positives to go along with every negative thought you’ve had. It sounds elementary, but it will force you to be more intentional about embracing your body as a thing of beauty instead of a burden.
2Redefine what loving your body means.
Regardless of what a catchy social media hashtag may have you believe, the way we feel about our bodies isn’t always constant: One day we’ll absolutely love how our butts look in a pair of jeans, and the next moment we’ll be convinced that we need to go harder on the squats.
One way to change this: Think about what loving your body means on your own terms. Don’t give any consideration to ridiculous trends, what your favorite celebrity says or what anyone who isn’t you thinks. Go from there, and stick with your own unique rendition of self-love.
3Focus on all the wonderful things your body does for you.
Instead of focusing solely on your appearance, take a moment to consider all of the awesome things your body does for you each day. Think about the last time you completed an impressive DIY project, prepared a kickass meal or created a flawless cat eye. In other words, think of something that only your brain could’ve accomplished. Plenty of the beauty you possess comes from parts of our anatomy we can’t actually see, so don’t forget to show them some love as well.
4Do something your body will appreciate.
Sometimes we devote such an incredible amount of energy to dissing our bodies that we forget that it needs some encouragement and TLC in order to keep on keepin’ on. When you’re feeling down on yourself, treat your body to something special and luxurious like a massage, a pedicure, or decorate it with a piece of new jewelry. Consider going for a quick jog or a yoga session to get those endorphins flowin’ and your attitude heading in a more (body) positive direction.
5Fish for compliments.
Seriously! Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out how amazing we look when we can’t see our fab forest for the self-loathing trees. But if you’re going to fish, then do it responsibly. Consider getting one of your close besties as a pick-me-up partner where you both agree to give one another kind, genuine compliments when one (or both) of you isn’t quite feelin’ your bodies.
6Put on some music and groove to it.
Don’t worry about those two left feet or how you look flailing around to the beat: Just focus on how the music makes you feel. Aside from putting you in the mood for lovin’ (yourself or someone else) and improving balance and muscle memory, dancing is also good for our mental health.
Studies have shown that dancing — for recreational or professional purposes — releases feel-good endorphins and can even help improve self-confidence and ease the symptoms of depression.
As HuffPost notes,
“A 2012 Swedish study found that girls struggling with depression, stress and anxiety who took weekly dance classes improved their mental health and reported a boost in mood—positive effects that lasted up to eight months after the classes ended. Other studies have linked dancing to higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem.
7Revamp your social media feeds.
Remember that hard-bodied Instagram fitness expert who had you side-eyeing your own fab physique? They may offer up a ton of #fitspo for the rest of their followers, but if looking at them makes you feel bummed about your own body, it’s totally okay to hit the unfollow button and only keep up with fitness enthusiasts whose bodies resemble yours. You are in control of your own destiny when it comes to the content of your TL.