Most people have something they don’t like about their body. Maybe you wish your teeth were straighter or your stomach flatter. Maybe you have a condition like tubular breast syndrome or alopecia that makes you understandably self-conscious about the way you look.
You’re not alone in feeling the way you do. Studies have shown that 61% of adults, and 66% of children, feel negatively about their body the majority of the time.
Of course, there are ways you can change your appearance, such as through cosmetic surgery or extreme diets. But these are drastic steps that should be seriously thought through before committing. No one should feel like they need to change their body, especially not for anyone else. Whatever decision you make should be for you, and you alone.
Rather than feeling you need to transform your appearance, it’s best to work on the way you perceive yourself. Viewing your body through a negative lens can take a toll on your mental health and lead to low confidence, stress, and depression.
To help you feel better about yourself, here are four ways to accept your body the way it is.
Look for the positives
Rather than focusing on the things you don’t like about yourself, why not start looking at the positives. There must be things you like about your body, so it can be a productive exercise to stand in front of the mirror and go through them. Maybe you love your long hair, or the colour of your eyes. Perhaps the thing you love is more functional, such as the fact your body can run long distances, carry a lot of weight, or give birth to a beautiful child.
Avoid social media
Instagram is full of stereotypically beautiful people with ripped abs and perfect teeth. But this is not a representative view of the average person. People only tend to post perfect pictures of themselves online, and you very rarely see more realistic takes involving love handles and make-up free skin. Try to limit the amount of time you spend on social media as this will prevent you comparing yourself to people who ultimately don’t matter to you.
Cut out toxic people
If you worry that others are judging you for how you look then these are not the kinds of people you want in your life. Your true loved ones accept you for who you are, not what you look like. Cut out toxic people from your life who make you feel bad, and make more time for those who bring positivity.
Eliminate negative self talk
You wouldn’t say negative things about anyone else’s body, so you shouldn’t say them about your own. Every time you make such a comment about yourself, you are reinforcing the notion that you’re not good enough. Next time you catch yourself about to say something negative, stop and think. Turn it into a positive and carry on with your day.
Hopefully these four tips will help you change the way you see your body and realise that appearance isn’t everything. Improving your body confidence and self esteem won’t happen overnight so it’s important to remember this is an ongoing journey.