• 09/14/2023

How to Love Your Body as It Is

Image features a thick wooden pole on the side of the road. Directly in front of it is a white sign with black capital letters that reads: "You are worthy of love." This message can also help you in your journey of learning how to love your body.

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Something small in your past can influence how you feel about yourself in the present. Low self-esteem can keep you from several opportunities and experiences you don’t want to miss. Contrastly, knowing how to love your body can help you accept yourself as you are and make the most of every adventure or activity. You don’t need to change to be worthy of love — you’re enough just as you are.

Is It Normal to Not Like Your Body?

Unfortunately, it is normal not to like your body. Around 85% of people have a negative self-perception, which can lead to destructive behaviors like disordered eating or substance abuse. Past experiences can be stressful and majorly affect your current life. It can be difficult to work past these experiences, but it must be done for you to heal properly.

Several instances could have made you uncomfortable with your body image, such as the following:

  • School Bullies
  • Social Media Standards
  • Comments From Loved Ones

There are other circumstances that may distort how you see yourself, like body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). If you fall under that umbrella, you should talk to a trained professional who can help you work past any compulsions and see yourself for who you truly are. That way, you’ll learn to heal and how to love your body.

The good news is that you don’t have to live with this insecurity forever. You can learn how to love your body with time. Allow yourself grace to walk through this difficult process, and you may come to understand that while human beings may not be wholly perfect, you are enough just as you are.

5 Fun Exercises to Teach You How to Love Your Body

Until you reach the point of complete self-love, you can try some exercises to build up your self-esteem. What can encourage you to love yourself might differ from what you expect. For example, some people appreciate verbal compliments to themselves, while others feel better focusing on improving themselves and building their confidence in that way. Try out all of them — you might be surprised at what sticks.

1. Recite Affirmations

Treat affirmations like an unskippable part of your morning ritual. Just spending a few minutes repeating affirmations to yourself can make a difference. They can help you slow down and notice the things you should appreciate about your body while empowering you to love yourself.

With affirmations, you can reframe some of the harmful things you’ve learned about your body. For example, instead of focusing directly on the number on the scale, pay attention to how your body stores energy to power you through any fun activities. Sometimes, a little positive self-talk is all it takes. By reciting affirmations, you challenge the negative mindset you may be dwelling on. 

2. Clean Out Social Media Influencers

One of the best self-care acts you can give yourself is to fine-tune who you follow on your social media accounts. Many people on these platforms edit their photos to reflect bodies that may not even be possible for most people to achieve. Take the time to go through your lists and unfollow everyone who doesn’t bring you a sense of inner peace.

Eventually, you’ll be able to appreciate the accounts you do follow and see a unique beauty in yourself. Online communities have plenty of filters that help people feel more confident but also distort the truth. Work on accepting yourself as you are, and then you can use the filters for fun like they were initially meant for.

3. Have a Goal-Setting Day

Take the day off from work or school and make some time to check in with yourself. Ask yourself hard questions, like why you want to change your body or what about it you dislike so much. From there, you’ll realize whether you’re setting goals for the right reasons — or if they’re even safe or attainable at all.

You can set goals for the future that will make you feel better about yourself. Would a routine improve your self-esteem? Setting goals can help you achieve greater things and encourage you to push onward, even if your progress has plateaued. Just remember to set all sorts of goals, not just physical ones.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can’t entirely change who you are, physically or mentally, overnight. However, you can take actionable steps toward completing realistic goals within a certain timeframe. 

4. Compliment Yourself Often

When you tell yourself something for long enough, you eventually regard it as truth. If you compliment yourself often and praise yourself on your strengths and willingness to learn from mistakes, you may start to like yourself more. Make sure these compliments can be delivered at a set time. For example, you can tell yourself something lovely whenever you pass by or look into a mirror.

Make sure you focus the compliments on both your physical appearance and your personality traits. You’re a wonderful person, inside and out, and you deserve that recognition. Pride yourself on something you’ve done well recently or how your eyes light up when you talk about something you love. Look at yourself like your loved ones see you, and you should start to see your worth.

5. Work on Your Skills

You should know that your worth isn’t only skin deep. As you work on bettering yourself, whether in your personal or professional life, you can feel greater confidence in your skills — thereby boosting your self-esteem. You can focus on something that challenges you mentally or pushes your limits physically. When you know you’re good at things, you can feel a little less self-conscious. You’ll start to love every part of yourself, appreciating both what you can do and what you’re still learning.

Why Is It Hard to Accept My Body?

You might find it difficult to accept the way you look for several reasons. Anything that could’ve influenced you into disliking your appearance could still be in your life — or societal trends could change how you look at yourself. With society pushing everyone to look a certain way, it’s easy to feel discouraged when you don’t naturally look like what’s trending.

Low self-esteem could lead to poor mental health, but the good news is that loving yourself and having an excellent support system makes you feel healthier and happier overall. As you embark on this quest for self-love, don’t forget to involve your loved ones. When you’re having a difficult time accepting yourself as you are, turn to a friend or family member — they’ll make sure you know you’re loved!

Learn How to Love Your Body

Learning how to love your body is one of the greatest things you could ever do for yourself. You should know that you deserve to take up space, no matter how you feel or look that day. You are worthy of love, and you need to tell yourself that until you realize it. Loving your body won’t happen overnight, but you can take little steps each day to make yourself feel loved. After all, it’s what you deserve. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to change for anyone — who you are is excellent.

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