Learning to love yourself, it is a process easier said than done.
Also it is a process which takes a long time to achieve and for some it is an ongoing process.
So where do you start? How do you go from hating yourself, despising looking in the mirror and just seeing all your flaws. How do you go from comparing yourself to everyone else, wishing you looked like someone else and constantly bringing yourself down, to loving yourself, being happy in your own body and knowing you are perfect just the way you are? It may seem impossible,but it isn’t, it just takes time and a change of mindset.
My first advice is to ALWAYS change the negative thoughts. If you get negative thoughts about your body or you begin comparing yourself to others or you begin thinking negatively about yourself or your capabilities etc change them.
Such as instead of thinking, “i am a failure” think, i am doing the best i can and i can only get better. Instead of thinking, “everyone else is prettier than me”, think i am pretty just the way i am and everyone else is pretty just the way they are as well, we are different and unique. Instead of thinking, “i am fat and useless” think, fat is not a bad or negative word, everyone has fat and i am not worthless, i am good at many things such as X,Y,Z.
Of course it is easier said than done and at first it can seem fake, but let it be…. in time it will feel real and you will believe the thoughts and positive thoughts. Sometimes you just got to fake it till you make it.
Body love and self love comes from practise. We live in a society where we are constantly told we need to change our appearance or look a certain way to be loved or approved, so it is not so strange that so many deal with negative thoughts about their appearance or lack body love and self love. But with time you can learn to become more confident and happy in yourself, after all…. it is YOU who has to live with your body and you can’t go around hating yourself, that takes energy and makes you bitter and makes life so much more harder than it actually is!
My second advice is to everyday look in the mirror and say 3-5 positive things about yourself. It may feel incredibly strange at first and you might feel narcissistic but it is a good way of giving yourself a confidence boost. It doesn’t have to be appearance based, it can be about your talents or other things you are good at. Just to give yourself a confidence boost and to be kind to yourself. And do the same thing in the evening. Or if you don’t want to do it infront of a mirror, you can always try writing them down.
Also, making a list of all your positive traits, why you love yourself or why you should love yourself and be kind to yourself. You can then look at that list when you are feeling down or beginning to think negative thoughts.
Believe in compliments when you get them. If someone compliments you, don’t just whift them away, instead say thank you and believe in them!
Taking care of your body. It is hard to love a body which you are breaking down and not taking care of. If you nourish your body properly, drink enough water, sleep enough, spend time with others who lift you up, exercise… all of those things can make it easier to love yourself when you feel that your body is functioning and it is a healthy body.
Spend time with people who are positive and don’t hate themselves or comment on other people’s bodies. It can be extremely hard to work on loving yourself or your body when you are surrounded by people who constantly complain about their own body or constantly comment on other peoples bodies… so try to limit those people from your life for your own well being!!
Delete accounts which you find triggering or who give off the wrong message or signals. Don’t like at tv programs or magazines which may influence you negatively…. of course you need to learn to deal with triggers, but you don’t necessarily have to force yourself to look at them or see them everyday, instead if you can get rid of potential triggers do it!
Wear outfits that make you feel confident and happy in yourself. Take care of your hair and skin. It may sound superficial, but the days you feel confident and happy in your appearance it is alot easier to love yourself and that doesn’t mean changing your body, but just taking care of it.
But ALSO remember to love yourself even on the days you are bloated, feel tired, sluggish or just strange. Those days happen and bloating is normal for everyone, so learning to accept those days and live life anyway is a major step to self love. When you don’t let bloating control your day or your emotions then you are a huge step forward in your self love journey!
Accept the things you may not like about yourself. Somethings you can change, such as some personal charateristics you might dislike about yourself and you can change them, or even certain things you dislike about your body you can change, however that shouldn’t control you either. Sometimes you just need to accept certain things and just know that they are part of you and instead of hating them you might as well begin to accept them (because let’s be honest… some things are harder to love about yourself, so the least you can do is just be ok with them and not hate yourself about them!).
Self love is a journey and a process and it takes time, but small steps everyday and one day you will realise you are happy in your own body, happy with yourself and you don’t feel the need to change for yourself or anyone else. You accept the bad body image days, you know there will be low mental days but you are ok with them and you can live life anyway and you feel confident and ok with yourself more often than not!!
Don’t give up on self love, keep working towards it!