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Learning to Love Your Body

by Dr. Kathleen Hall
positive body image, body image issues, love your body,

Achieving self-love can be difficult. Following a few mindful tips can help boost your self-esteem and help you love and appreciate your body as is.

Body Image and Your Health

Physical appearance counts for a lot in today’s society. According to a recent psychological study, appearance is the third strongest factor in life satisfaction for women and the second strongest factor for men. So, if you lack self-confidence or have negative views about your own body, it can really affect the quality of your life.

If you have body image issues, you aren’t the only one. According to the same study mentioned earlier, only 24 percent of men and 20 percent of women felt “‘very or extremely satisfied with their weight.” Some poor body image issues are instigated by outside factors—for instance, there’s a connection between increased television viewing and increased body dissatisfaction—but poor body image also comes from within.

Love Your Body As It Is

You can boost your self-esteem and eliminate your body image issues with the mindful tips listed below.

  • Mind your posture. The way you present yourself and hold your body can really influence your self-confidence. A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that when people sat in a confident posture (with an erect back and lifted chest), they were self-assured in their thoughts. So, consider reflecting on your physical attributes while sitting in a confident posture. It could help you appreciate your body more.
  • Look inside yourself. Looking inward, to your soul and your heart, can positively influence the way you feel about your physical appearance. A study released from the University of Royal Holloway London found that “‘a stable perception of the body from the outside, what is known as ‘body image,’ is partly based on our ability to accurately perceive our body from within, such as our heartbeat.” So, consider spending a little time in mindful meditation every day. Monitor your heartbeat and your breaths. By connecting and appreciating the inner workings of your body you may gain a new appreciation for your physical appearance.
  • Accept yourself. People generally have physical features that they love as well as features that they wish they could change. A study from the University of Waterloo found that when women accept their imperfections they have a more positive body image, despite their body mass index (BMI). Loving your imperfections may sound like something that is easier said than done, but it is possible. Showing yourself a little self-compassion can make all the difference. You are beautiful from top to bottom. Remind yourself of this constantly.

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