Stop Body-Shaming Yourself: Five Self-Love Tips

Let’s Be Thankful for Everything Our Bodies Can Do And Be a Little Kinder to ourselves (Image Source: Shutterstock)
Replace Damaging Self-Talk With Positive Affirmations To Improve Your Self-Esteem (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What is “Body-Shaming”?

Body-shaming is the act of putting down someone’s physical appearance, like their weight, their skin, or their facial features. It’s something most of us stopped doing to other people after about the seventh grade, thankfully, but when it comes to ourselves, we tend to be much less kind. Think about this for a minute. If you were to make comments to your friends about their appearances the way you think about your own appearance, would you even have friends? If the answer is a resounding no, you can be reasonably sure you’re in the habit of body-shaming yourself.

What is Body Shaming — HealthyPlace Mental Health

Five Ways to Practice Self-Love

One of the most effective ways to rid yourself of a bad habit is to replace it with better ones. Here’s how to practice self-love rather than self-deprecation.

Prune Your Closet

Nothing makes you feel worse about your body than ill-fitting clothing. Life’s too short to wear anything that chafes, pinches, rides up, or makes you feel frumpy. Spend a Saturday afternoon weeding through your closet, and ditch anything that doesn’t make you feel great. If it’s still wearable, pass it to a friend or coworker or drop it in a donation bin — someone will be happy to have it! You can also try selling your unwanted stuff on consignment sites like Poshmark or thredUP. That should net you some cash for a shopping spree for new clothes that make you feel gorgeous.

Practice Self-Care

When you don’t feel happy with your body, it’s easy to start punishing yourself: restricting calories, skipping meals, or overdoing it on exercise. Beginning today, resolve to make meals, snacks, and workouts part of your body-positive self-care plan. Eat nutritious, well-balanced meals and healthy snacks. Enjoy salty snacks and sweet treats in moderation. Move your body in ways that bring you happiness, whether that’s by dancing, swimming, or tennis with friends. And if you do slip up and eat a whole pint of ice cream (or sleep through your morning run), please forgive yourself. It’s part of being human.

Eat Nutritious, Well-Balanced Meals and Healthy Snacks. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Be Grateful for Your Body

The next time you feel mired in negative thoughts about your body, try practicing gratitude for everything you do like about it. Sure, it might be nice to have longer legs, but yours carry you through those intense barre classes twice a week. Yes, you might wish your arms were more toned, but yours are so good for hugging. You may not think your body is perfect, but it carries you through all the most important parts of your life. Take a minute to appreciate everything it does for you.

Engage in Positive Self-Talk

In addition to being grateful for everything your body can do, you can practice self-love by engaging in positive self-talk. The next time you’re tempted to call yourself fat or unattractive, give yourself a good old-fashioned compliment instead. Pat yourself on the back for your shampoo-ad-worthy hair, your awesome outfit, or your beautiful eyes. While you’re at it, give yourself props for that raise you recently scored, and remind yourself how much your friends love you. What kinds of things would you say to someone you care about to cheer them up? Those are the kinds of compliments you should give yourself, too.

Comparison Is the Thief of Joy

It’s so easy to compare yourself to other people and come up short. Be mindful of how often you measure yourself against others, whether it’s celebrities, influencers, or your friends. Remember that what you see in magazines and on Instagram has been heavily edited and manipulated. Your skin doesn’t look as perfect as a cover model’s — but neither does theirs. If you find that browsing through influencer posts makes you feel depressed and ashamed, hit the “unfollow” button and stick to your friends’ photos. Oh, and if you catch yourself wishing you had your BFF’s amazing figure? Keep in mind that she’s probably every bit as hard on herself as you are … and she might envy you sometimes too.

Ditch Body Shame for Body Respect

Do you remember that scene in Mean Girls where “Queen Bee” Regina George and her crew complain loudly about their appearances? After they’ve lamented their physical flaws (right down to Karen’s nail beds), they turn expectantly to clueless new kid Cady, eager to hear her body-shame herself too. We use body-shaming as a group bonding ritual — that’s how ingrained it is in our culture.

Don’t Bash Your Body, Don’t Let Anyone Hear You Bash Your Body. Image Source: Shutterstock)

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