Girls! Finding peace and love within our bodies without judgment is not an easy endeavor. We easily fall into the trap of social media, setting impossible standards for our bodies. As we continue to ridicule our bodies, we develop a lack of appreciation for its incredible functions.
I have struggled with body positivity ever since high school. Every girl seemed prettier and more confident, and I wanted to look like them. All I could think about was how to achieve that “perfect” body; these thoughts totally consumed me.
Let me tell you something I have learned from my experience. Every body is different. Every body continuously changes. And every body is beautiful. If you don’t believe me, then let me tell you this: There is no way to achieve that Instagram aesthetic body, and I learned that the hard way. Constantly changing your habits to reach this ideal will distance you from your genuine self. While trapped in these destructive thoughts, you will not achieve true self love.
Self love is difficult to achieve in this judgemental world. Fortunately, I have some tips to transform your relationship with your body. While this advice is helpful, please remember that they are only the first steps to truly loving your body. Self love requires time and patience, but when you consistently practice it, the result will be so rewarding.
1. Journal prompts
Journaling can be so liberating, and may help you escape negative feelings, so they do not dwell in your mind. Sometimes, I like to journal because it is hard for me to talk to people that may not understand, or my feelings may just be too personal. Listed below are some journal prompts that help with body positivity.
Think about your body. What are the first words that come to mind and what do those words say about where you are in your body positivity journey?
What does your body allow you to do on a daily basis? Why is your body so important?
If you were to get rid of all social media, do you think your views of your body would be different? Why or why not?
An alternative to writing and journaling could be recording a little podcast for yourself, or just sitting with these questions and thinking about them. They may spark some realizations!
2. Mid-day relaxation
If you do like meditation or yoga, a really amazing channel to watch on YouTube is Yoga with Adriene. She has yoga for different people, and her techniques help you tackle difficult emotions. Definitely go check her out! However, if you do not enjoy these longer relaxation techniques, I have two coping strategies that I find really helpful.
Square Breathing: This is when you inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and then hold for 4 seconds. This allows you to focus on your mind and body, and ground yourself in the moment.
The Five Senses: Sit comfortably in a chair, couch, or bed and keep your eyes open. Start to notice your surroundings by first naming 5 things you see, then 4 things you smell, then 3 things you are touching, then 2 things you hear, and then 1 thing you taste. This allows you to forget your stressors and find comfort in your surrounding area.
3. Limit the social media
I am telling you, this is a true lifesaver. When I am feeling down or bored, I tend to go right to my phone and check social media. I have to say, that never makes me feel better. It actually sometimes makes things worse. If you feel the same way I do, I would recommend limiting your screen time on social media platforms. You don’t need to completely cut social media completely out of your life (who doesn’t want to see Justin Bieber’s cute pups), but it allows you to spend more time grounded in reality. This helps relieve perpetual comparison and judgment created by social media.
These are my favorite. Affirmations definitely help with body positivity, as more confidence exudes from these powerful statements. You can find a bunch of affirmations online, but here I listed a few of my favorites:
Love yourself first.
Something beautiful is going to happen today.
Your body, your perfection.
Nobody’s perfect, so why set that standard.
Beauty standards are boring.
If you make a habit of reciting these statements, over time you will start to apply them in your daily life, I learned in psychology that repetition is key in storing information in the brain. So, if you write these affirmations down on a post-it on your mirror, or type it as a reminder on your phone, you will remember and apply these statements.
I hope one, some, or all of these tips and tricks will help guide you on your journey to self-love and body positivity. Please keep me updated if you have any questions or comments!
Written by: Katie Strongarone