Having a positive body image can be challenging in today’s society. Whether it’s the bombardment of retouched photos or negative messages about our society’s unattainable beauty standards- I know it can be difficult to look in the mirror and like what you see. To counteract the external pressures and expectations and prioritize a more positive body image, here are five habits to help cultivate body positivity.
Exercise for Acceptance, Not Aesthetics.
While we’ve been told since we were young that exercise is solely for losing weight and looking good, changing your mindset can help you focus on self care and acceptance rather than aesthetic “perfection.” Exercise should be centered around how it makes you feel and the benefits it provides such as boosting energy levels, lifting moods, improving strength and flexibility and promoting sleep/relaxation. Focusing on the positive effects of physical activity will help you build a healthier relationship with exercise and moving your body. Think of exercise as a way to move your body in ways that bring you joy to help improve your current body image.
Center Self Talk Around Compassion for a More Positive Body Image.
When it comes to cultivating a more positive body image, the way we talk to ourselves is arguably one of the foundations. To play devil’s advocate, self-talk can be incredibly unhelpful in maintaining healthy relationships with our body image, because often we focus on criticism and judgement. Instead, focus on speaking to yourself with compassion and empathy. Acknowledge your struggles without question or judgement, allowing for a gentler relationship between yourself and the mirror. What’s really helped me is visualizing my younger self and talking to her. It’s easier for me to empathize with her than to my current self. Try it. Or try speaking to yourself the way you would someone you love.
Follow Influencers Who Promote Body Positivity.
While there are a wealth of positive influencers on social media, seek out those that make it their goal to spread messages of self-love and body positivity (like WMNKND! Give us a follow on instagram if you haven’t already). This can be anything from following bloggers who wear whatever makes them feel good to finding artists creating stunning works of art celebrating all body shapes and sizes. Following influencers who are passionate about promoting diverse beauty will help to kindly remind you that everyone is beautiful in their own way.
Focus on self-care practices that nurture your body.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. Start by simply noticing what you enjoy and develop those activities into habits that focus on taking care of your body. This could include shopping for clothes that fit your body comfortably, going for a mindful walk in nature, or setting aside time to do something creative like drawing, knitting or writing. Even small gestures like consistent skin care routines (holla at our favorite esthetician) or having fresh flowers at home can help cultivate a stronger connection with yourself.
Increase Self-Awareness, Increase Positive Body Image.
One habit that can help to improve body image is to increase self-awareness. Knowing and understanding your body is an essential part of having a healthy relationship with it. Start introducing mindful exercises such as yoga, meditation or journaling into your daily routine. Practice focusing on each area of your body, allowing yourself to simply notice any discomfort or tension in areas and connecting with the sensations rather than avoiding them. This conscious awareness will support in cultivating more acceptance towards your physical and mental state.
WMNKND’s WORTHY Deck is a perfect place to start increasing your self awareness and embracing your authentic self. If you struggle with journaling or don’t know how to start, this body positive, self acceptance affirmation and journal prompt deck is for YOU. Order yours today!
If you need more help developing a positive body image, we here at WMNKND have developed a body acceptance boudoir experience to empower you to challenge your current body image issues. You’ll see your body in a way you never have before- as worthy of celebrating, appreciating, and documenting.
If you remember one thing after reading this, let it be this: You don’t have to love every single thing about your body to foster a compassionate relationship with your body. Your body is worthy of your acceptance and respect. Just as it is today.