How often do you have a negative thought about your body?
Does it happen first thing in the morning when you look in the mirror? When you stare at the these-haven’t-fit-me-in-three-years clothes in your closet? When you step on the scale? What about over the course of the day when you catch your reflection in a store window? Or when someone tags you in a picture you hate on Instagram? Or when you get a reminder in your e-mail that you haven’t visited the gym in a while?
Ugh. It’s no wonder that 97% of women have an “I hate my body” moment every single day. We’ve programmed ourselves to!
We have, on average, about 50,000 thoughts every single day. Fifty thousand. And research tells us that of these 50,000 thoughts, about 80% of them are negative! Not only that, but as many as 90% of those are repeated day after day after day.
So, with this knowledge, isn’t it worth thinking about what you say to yourself about your body?
Pause for a moment and think: what do you say to yourself first thing in the morning when you look in the mirror? Is it easy to find a flaw with it right away? Do you judge the way you look? Criticize yourself? Is it easiest to find something that you wish were different about your face, your hair, your hips?
Or do you smile, say hello, and take a moment to be grateful to have another day to experience life and make more memories?
If you find yourself in the former camp more often than you are in the latter, it might be time to start making small changes in your life that allow you to feel better in your body today.
Here are three.
1. Express Gratitude for One Thing About Your Body
One of the quickest ways to begin to feel good in your body is to start every day being grateful and appreciative of one thing about your body.
It could be the unique color of your eyes, the strength of your legs, your manicured (or not) fingernails, your ability to hear the rain on the roof, the smoothness of your skin, the shape of your eyebrows.
Anything counts here. This can feel a little awkward at first, due to the fact that women are programmed not to look kindly towards themselves or their bodies in fear that others will think they’re arrogant or narcissistic.
But by starting the day noticing something that you like, or something you are grateful for, about yourself, you set yourself up for noticing more beauty throughout the day ahead. Just like how when you start your day judging yourself – feeling shame, anger, or frustration with your body – you set yourself up to be more judgmental of others as the day progresses.
Feel Better in Your Body by Showing Gratitude
By moving the focus away from what you cannot do and towards what your body can do makes a big difference in the way you will feel.
2. Wear Clothes That Fit and Feel Good
So many women I know wake up every morning and stare into a closet of clothes that don’t fit. From there, they begin to spin into an internal negative dialogue with themselves: feeling ashamed that they don’t look like they “should,” angry that they ate that second piece of pizza or didn’t get to the gym, frustrated that those pants from five years ago don’t fit anymore.
I encourage you to clean out your closet and fill it with clothes that you feel good in – colors, fabrics, and sizes that allow you to move and breathe.
You have the ability to choose to start every morning looking at a closet of clothes that make you smile (setting you up to smile more during your day) or looking at a closet and feeling bad about yourself, beating yourself up, or even full of shame and hatred of yourself day after day. You can box some clothes up, bring them to a consignment shop, put them away, or give them to a shelter for someone else to enjoy.
Wearing clothes that feel comfortable on your body is a great way to take care of yourself, an important self-care technique that can also help decrease stress. You deserve to adorn your body in ways that feel positive.
3. Let Go of Sources of Comparison
Comparing yourself to friends, family, celebrities, cultural and societal norms, and even younger versions of yourself can be a heart-wrenching experience. There is no way for you to magically become these people – and even if you could, you would find that they, too, have things that they dislike about themselves and compare to others.
So why waste your time staring at images of what you’ll never have, if they only make you feel down on yourself?
One of the most powerful ways for us to combat those feelings is to be purposeful in the content that we curate on our social media feeds. We don’t have a lot of control over mainstream media, but we sure as hell can have an effect on our own personal media.
Here’s how: Unsubscribe to social media feeds that make you feel “less than” or not “good enough.” Replace those with feeds that make you feel empowered and confident in how you look.
- If you’re looking to diversify your feed, you can find an awesome list of 135 amazing people here.
Notice when you begin to compare yourself to others, and remind yourself: you are the only you. Only you have your unique genetics. Comparing yourself to another is like comparing apples to oranges – they’ll never be the same.
Start to appreciate your unique genetic type: tall, short, narrow hips, wide hips, voluptuous torso, thick thighs, small feet… You get the idea.
Comparing yourself to others will decrease your own self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, and overall body image – and who needs that?
Feeling comfortable and appreciating the body that you have today can decrease stress, increase joy, and lead to a life full of more confidence and happiness.
Fast track your way to feeling good in your body by visiting Green Mountain at Fox Run.