How to Love and Embrace Your Body - Let Go of Negative Body Image

love and embrace your body

Feeling unhappy with your looks? Read this article to learn how to love and embrace your body, and let go of negative body image.

How Do You Feel About Your Body?

Body Dissatisfaction

Many of us don’t love the physical appearance of our bodies.

The dissatisfaction with the way our bodies look, which is most common in women, can cause shame, anger, disgust, anxiety and withdrawal from society.

The constant feeling of discomfort with your looks can chain you and prevent you from participating in life.

You spend hours scrutinising your faces in the mirror, feeling disgusted and repulsed from your bodies.

You don’t feel worthy of love because you think if you can’t love your body, why will someone else will?

‘I Hate My Body and its Shape”

Maybe you are already familiar with these self-sabotaging thoughts: “I don’t like my body and how I look.”

Nothing makes you feel beautiful, prettier, and at ease with yourself. There’s never enough clothes in the wardrobe. Nothing fits; something is loose; something is tight.

The forehead is too broad, or too small. The nose is too wide, too flat, too big! Not enough hair on the head, too much hair on the body. Maybe cosmetic surgery can help, you wonder.

Take a moment and think back to the last time you avoided a social situation because you thought you didn’t look good enough. It’s paralysing and frustrating, isn’t it?

You avoid wearing your favourite bikini for fear of revealing the cellulite on your thighs, stretch marks, or fat on your body. The jiggles, the bulges, the curves or body hair, everything stops you from having fun.

You feel you aren’t putting in enough effort to look good. You chastise yourself, make plans to be the best, only to repeat what you have been doing.

You feel you will be happier once you attain your perfect figure or body parts, but that’s far from the truth.

What’s wrong?

The problem is not with your looks; the problem is with your outlook. Your body image is negative.

What is Body Image?

Body image is all about how someone feels about their bodies, and what thoughts accompany them while they do so.

A person with a positive body image doesn’t judge his body just based on his looks. They know it is good. They accept it as it is and remain committed to loving and taking care of it. Their confidence stems from what their bodies can do and not how they look.

If you find yourself criticising your looks often, or obsess about it, chances are you have a negative body image.

What Causes Negative Body Image: 3 Reasons Why You Don’t Feel Happy With Your Body

Since time immemorial, women have been defined by their beauty and how they look. Even 10-years-old today find it challenging to tackle the feelings of unhappiness with the appearance of their bodies.

Possible Reasons for A Negative Body Image:

  • In families where the child grew up seeing his parents and relatives dieting or being overly concerned about their weight and appearance, the body image of the child suffered.
  • Being bullied or shamed by peers or family members for the colour of their skin, the fat in their bodies, their height, leads to shame and anxiety for the way they look.
  • Negative body image has been linked with low self-esteem, too.

Why You Should Love and Appreciate Your Body: Dangers of Negative Body Image

If you don’t love your body, you may be prone to several harmful effects.

Here are some of the ways how a negative body image can sabotage your life and why you should start feeling comfortable in your own body:

1. Risk of Developing Eating Disorders

Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia are some common disorders that are the result of a poor body image.

A lot of girls, to attain their desired figure, develop a toxic relationship with food. Purging after having meals is one of them. Even the thought of food can repulse them.

Then there is binge eating to feel better; this results in shame and guilt.

This disordered eating pattern is a vicious cycle when you resort to feel better about yourself but end up gaining more weight and more shame.

2. Spending Money on Beauty Treatments, Surgery to Feel Better

The obsession with your looks can make you perpetually empty.

You wish you could get a nose job done; get a botox treatment to lift your breasts, your cheeks, the desired pout to your lips and fuller cheeks.

The fact of the matter is not only cosmetic surgery and treatments are costly, but they also pose a greater risk to our health. Inability to afford these procedures can cause frustration and anxiety.

3. Tough to Feel Good If You Judge Yourself by the Way You Look

You can’t find happiness if your self worth came from just the way you look. We are mortals, and we are bound to age and wither.

The wrinkles, the stretch marks, the blemishes, the cellulite, the sagging are a part of ageing.

Comparing yourself to your former self or younger people will only make you feel miserable. Anger and anxiety can lead to self-harming behaviours as well.

4. You Avoid Social Events

Rejecting social invitations and hiding oneself from being seen by others is one of the most harmful effects of negative body image.

The fear of being judged and ridiculed is so high that it feels safe to stay home and not go out at all.

It’s not uncommon to hear children and adults not willing to go to school or colleges just because they didn’t look good enough. Such behaviour can stunt your personal as well as professional growth.

5. You can Offend Others

You can transmit the poor body image onto others as well. You too will judge others on their looks. The comments and comparisons can hurt people around you, resulting in a dent in their body image also.

How to Love Your Physical Appearance and Embrace Your Body?

Our bodies are meant to function. They are not a thing to be embellished and decorate. They are to be used, to move, to attain what we want and feel pleasure.

Here are 8 tips to accept, love and embrace your body.

1. Recognise and Acknowledge Your Negative Thoughts

First thing first: We can’t always control our thought, but we can learn to observe them and then let the unwanted ones go.

If poor body image thoughts arise, acknowledge them and counter them with more positive thoughts. Restrain self-criticism and urge for perfectionism.

2. Focus on A Balanced Diet and Getting A workout: Love Your Body Fat and and Skinny Body

Body positivity doesn’t mean disregarding the harmful effects of being overweight, obese or malnutritioned. It means accepting the way you are and working to achieve optimal nutrition and movement for your body.

A positive and healthy body image includes accepting your weight as it is and concentrating on achieving optimal nutrition and exercise.

Instead of weight loss goals, make goals to be more active and enjoy how being in motion makes you feel.

Celebrate what your body can do.

Learn to dance, go for a bike ride, if you want.

Fitness is not about how thin your legs are, how big your nose is, what your skin colour is. Fitness is about the level of movement your body can achieve. It’s about your cardio-vascular health, the quality of your sleep, and overall well-being.

3. Curate Your Social Media

The idealised images on social media of models and celebrities can make us feel bad for our appearances.

The posts and updates on people losing weight, getting ripped, selling beauty products, can hurt our body image.

It’s a good idea to unfollow such accounts, celebs, friends who put over-emphasis on looks.

4. Focus on Personality Development and Your Contribution to Community

We have all been gifted with unique talents and acquired skills.

Working on developing our strengths and using them to make a positive impact in our lives and on those of others, can significantly improve our body image.

5. Ignore the Voices of Bullies

Bullies are everywhere. They will leave no chance to put you down.

The best way to deal with them is to be indifferent to them. Engaging with them will only give them more power over you.

You can’t shut their mouths, their comments, and what they say behind your back. All you can do is control how you feel and react.

It’s worth mentioning here that people who themselves have a poorbody image are more prone to bullying others for their looks.

6. Accept the Process of Aging

Once we accept that we are human beings who follow a cycle of life and death, we will become more accepting of our changing appearances.

Honour the system of nature and concentrate more on what we can do for each other and not what we look to each other.

7. Stop Judging Other People for Their looks

Learn to see people beyond their looks. If you find yourself making a judgment based on their appearances and race, stop yourself right there.

Appreciate them for their talents, skills, behaviour, and how they make the world a beautiful place to live.

We are more than our looks. You can miss out on a person with a golden heart who can bring soft breezes in your life if you focus on their looks.

8. Dress Whatever is More Comfortable to You

Choose to wear what makes your body breathe and move, comfortably, and what lets you participate in life. If you want to have some fun on the beach, wear your favourite bikini. It doesn’t matter if your body isn’t perfect. What matters is if you had fun on the beach!

Conclusion – How to Love and Embrace Your Body

A lot of women are afflicted with the pain of negative body image. Not only does it stop us from living our lives to the fullest, but it also instils a sense of self-sabotaging behaviour.

Learning to appreciate yourself beyond your looks, expanding the functionality of your bodies, and being mindful of the social media usage and the company you keep, can help you embrace your body and also improve your body image.

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