Body positivity is all about embracing and loving your body, regardless of its shape, size, or imperfections; It's about accepting yourself and being confident in who you are.
There are so many societal pressures that make it difficult for us to have a positive relationship with our bodies. We're bombarded with images of "perfect" bodies every day, and it can be easy to feel like we're not good enough. But it's important to remember that these images are often heavily edited and don't reflect reality.
Negative body image can cause mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, increased risk of suicidal thoughts,and low self esteem.
With one in five adults experiencing shame because of their body image2, it’s important that we work toward changing the narrative on what we see when we look in the mirror.
Our bodies allow us to experience life and all it has to offer, and that's something we can work towards being grateful for. We can shift our focus from what it does or doesn’t look like, and move towards sitting in the amazement of what it is capable of –our bones can repair themselves after a break; people with wombs are capable of growing an entire human being! We are truly incredible!
Here are ways to helpyou work towards loving who you are, just as you are:
· Be picky about what and whom you are following on social media. Does your feed make you feel good about what you look like? Is it telling you something positive about your body? If not, then maybe it’s time to fill your Instagram with accounts that celebrate diversity, wellness and bodies that look like your own.
· Get acquainted with your body – to love it, you must first get to know it. Connecting with yourself, through Yoga or dancing, puts you in the driver’s seat of what your body is doing, and gives you the opportunity to marvel at what your body is capable of.
· Do something every day that makes you feel good about your body. This may be choosing an outfit that makes you feel confident in how you look, or maybe it’s having a hot bath with your favourite essential oils, to nourish and care for your skin.
· Practice gratitude for the body you have – take time to look in the mirror and find reasons to be grateful for what you are seeing. You might be thankful for having strong arms to carry your children or find the beauty in the scars from surgery that saved your life.
· Take the compliment – so often, we can find ourselves shying away or dismissing a positive comment about the way we look. Maybe you could begin to say ‘thankyou’, and allowing yourself to acknowledge the beauty that others see in you.
We can all work on being kinder to ourselves and each other. Let's celebrate our bodies for what they are instead of trying to change them to fit a certain mold and embrace body diversity and appreciate the uniqueness of every person.
Remember, your worth is not defined by your body. You are worthy and deserving of love and respect, no matter what your body looks like.
Speaking to a therapist might help you understand what is getting in the way of you feeling good about yourself, and learning more about what you can do to accept yourself, wholly and completely, as you are.