Learning to promote and practice body positivity is a difficult skill to acquire in today’s modern world. With so many external forces telling us how we should be, what we should look like, how we should dress, and how to have proper style, it’s easy to lose focus on oneself and seek approval from outside forces.
However, part of being a respectable person is having a positive self-image and imparting that positivity upon others. Maintaining a positive attitude, however, is not always that easy. Sometimes, we may wake up and look in the mirror feeling insecure and full of self-doubt. While we look for external sources to provide us with reassurance and gratification, the true answer to practicing positivity and removing negative thoughts comes from within.
The following is a list of guidelines and suggestions to practice body positivity:
Invest in Yourself
The first recommendation for practicing body positivity is to invest in yourself. To be comfortable in your own skin, be comfortable with being alone and do not rely on others for approval. Identify all of the things that you like about yourself and do not be hypocritical about your flaws because everybody has them. If you are truly struggling with your self-image, it may be helpful to spend time talking to a counselor to discuss your body image issues and to learn further strategies to respect and love yourself.
In addition to counseling, other ways to invest in yourself include treating yourself in ways that will help to project a positive self-image. This can include getting a new haircut, purchasing some new clothing, or buying some new accessories catered to your style. Try not to invest in a drastic makeover, overuse of makeup, and a complete wardrobe overhaul as you want a look that is manageable and that accentuates your favorite things about yourself. Another option could be to invest in classes that help maintain a positive self-image. Classes like yoga and pilates offered at community fitness centers can help you to look your best and to feel great about yourself.
Love Your Own Image
Another way to practice positive self-image is to take the time daily to appreciate yourself and surround yourself with positivity. Before you walk out the door everyday, look in the mirror, smile at yourself, and tell yourself that you look great to promote body positivity You can also join social networking groups associated with positive body image. Some social networking groups have great reinforcement strategies such as daily quotes to inspire body positivity , inspirational images, or even podcasts, videocasts, and articles about feeling great about yourself.
Know that some days you will feel better about yourself than others, but don’t take the negative days to heart. We all have imperfections and setbacks, but it’s the way that we accept our flaws and embrace who we are that truly demonstrates a positive self-image.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is another way to practice body positivity, but allow yourself some wiggle room. Make sure to eat a proper and balanced diet including proteins, carbohydrates, and even fats. When you eat things that are good for you, you will feel good, too. Do not get caught up in fad diets that will only leave your weight fluctuating up and down like a yo-yo. Eating a balanced diet and properly hydrating with water will promote a positive mindset, as you will feel better, sleep better, and your skin will naturally glow.
Barring any allergies or food sensitivities, you should try not to restrict yourself from having treats on occasion. Grabbing a mocha on Friday mornings or enjoying an extra piece of birthday cake at the office is not going to do drastic damage when the rest of the foods that you are putting into your body are nutritious and good for you. When you allow yourself to have rewards and don’t focus on every calorie, you will exude more self-confidence and indirectly let others know that it’s okay for them to do the same.
Exercise for Health, Not Weight Loss
Along with maintaining a healthy diet, exercise has an immediate impact on body positivity . Just like fad diets, do not force yourself into extreme or unhealthy exercise programs because advertisements or testimonials told you to do so. Find an exercise routine for you that is sustainable in the long run. Maybe you enjoy taking a hike every Saturday, maybe you have fallen in love with the zen mentality of yoga, maybe you really enjoy bodybuilding and packing on muscle.
The idea of exercise is that you get your body moving and that you are actually having fun doing it. As you find exercises that you enjoy, it is important not exercise with the mentality of drastically dropping weight or aiming for a complete body transformation. The benefits of exercise will come with time as long as you dedicate yourself to doing it. Furthermore, you’ll be more likely to stick to your exercise program when your goals are realistic, attainable, and fun to do.
Compliment, Don’t Criticize Others
A final recommendation for being body positive is to compliment, and not to criticize others. A person who truly possesses a positive self-image knows how sensitive criticism can be for others and will never try to put others down. Try to make an effort to offer a compliment to someone on a daily basis both in person and on social media. Studies have shown that social media has a direct influence on body positivity What’s more, the active use of words that encourage body positivity can change the brain.
Also, do not allow some of the exaggerated, photo-shopped, and hyperbolic representations of body image in the media, advertisements, and Hollywood inform the way that you should perceive yourself and others. Elect to treat yourself and others with kindness and respect, and your upbeat demeanor will inspire others to have a similar mindset.
Attaining a positive self-image and body positivity requires more inward efforts to treat yourself right and truly value yourself despite any flaws. Making efforts toward having more body positiivity can eliminate depression and low self esteem. Taking the time to invest in yourself and to create and sustain a mentality of positive self-image will help you look your best and exude confidence. Similarly, you will inspire others to have respect for themselves and treat others with the respect that they deserve.