You only have one body, but loving it can be a challenge. Society puts a lot of pressure on people to be perfect, and that pressure can be even greater for women.
Under the constant gaze of societal expectations, it can be difficult to accept parts of oneself that are harmless but considered cosmetic “flaws.” Things like cellulite, stretch marks, bulges, and scars are perfectly natural, but they can take a toll on your self-esteem because of the millions-earning industries whose job it is to convince you that you need them. to correct.
How to question the negative self-talk and accept your body?
Manage that inner voice and turn it into a productive way to better accept your body. Consider the tips below to help improve your relationship with your body.
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
When you’re constantly confronted with seemingly perfect people: on TV, on social media, and on magazine covers, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. You may ask yourself, “Why don’t I look like this?” “. But that won’t get you very far.
Social media is a huge culprit in comparison to others. According to a 2021 study, social media is shown to lower self-esteem regarding appearance in young girls. Researchers have found that looking at other people’s posts on social media can lower self-esteem. So, is the solution to quit social media? For some people maybe, but that’s not your only option. When you stop comparing yourself to others and remember that every body is different, you can learn to accept and appreciate your own remarkable body.
2. Do activities that make you feel good about yourself
Doing and wearing certain things can prevent you from accepting your body. Try being kind by changing your mind. Participating in activities that don’t bring you joy and doing them just to try to change your appearance can affect your mental health. Try replacing these activities with ones you enjoy, like doing yoga or adopting a skincare routine.
You can also apply this reasoning to clothing. When you wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself, you build your confidence and see your body in a whole new light.
3. Find inspiration in bodies that look like yours
One of the ways that using social media can be helpful is that you have some autonomy over the content you participate in. Consider unfollowing and unfollowing pages that give you a negative image of yourself, and replacing them with content creators that inspire you. It’s even more useful if these creators look like you. It normalizes bodies that look like yours because they are natural. A 2021 study of 29 adolescents aged 15 to 16 in Dublin, Ireland, sought to identify the link between increased use of social media and its influence on body image. Studies indicate that appearance comparisons with peers, social media influencers and celebrities have been identified as the main sources of body dissatisfaction on social media. But according to a large 2019 study of women aged 18 to 30, body-positive content on social media can boost mood and improve body image in young women.
4. Appreciate the wonderful things your body is capable of.
The purpose of your body is not to look a certain way. On the contrary, your body does certain things. Some bodies may have physical limitations, and this is normal. Focus on what your body can do rather than how it looks or what it can’t do.
The human body is capable of doing remarkable things, such as:
heal broken bones
create another life
produce billions of new cells every day to replace old ones
distinguish thousands of different smells and colors
pump millions of liters of blood throughout his life.
Your body carries you throughout your life. It even compensates for handicaps, by strengthening certain senses when others are weaker. When you think about the incredible things your body can and does do on a daily basis, how it looks becomes insignificant.
5. Turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk
What you say to yourself is important. There’s no point talking negatively about your body, especially when it comes to things you can’t change. Going from “I hate my scars” to “I love my scars” isn’t realistic, but you can slowly move toward acceptance. It may be more helpful to take a neutral attitude towards body issues: “My scars are part of me and represent my story. »
How negative self-talk hinders body acceptance?
Everyone is self-critical, and that can sometimes motivate or stimulate you. But if your self-talk is mostly critical, negative self-talk can become detrimental to your mental health and limit your ability to accept your body. Negative self-talk can sound like “I’m not good enough” and “I have to change my appearance to love myself.” There are many ways to self-depreciate internally, and it’s not productive. The end goal is to accept yourself as you are now, and negative self-talk increases feelings of shame instead of reinforcing them.
Being too hard on yourself can even get in the way of adopting healthy habits. Self-criticism was significantly associated with negative well-being, according to an April 2017 study. Researchers found that self-reassurance had a better effect on well-being and weight management.
Everyone has insecurities and imperfections, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your body and all it’s capable of. Magazine covers, social media, and marketing have a knack for fueling your insecurities and even introducing new ones. Taking a step back from consuming this material can help you ground yourself and realize that having flaws is natural and part of the human experience. Accepting your body may not happen overnight, but you can learn to appreciate it more day by day. You can start today by adopting small habits, such as changing your use of social media and doing activities that make you feel good and bring you joy.