5 Body Positive Things to Do Every Day
The body positivity movement encourages all people to compassionately accept their bodies and lovingly embrace them as they are. Though body positivity doesn’t mean giving up on wanting to improve yourself, you still might find that it’s extremely difficult to find any positive aspects of your physical self in the current moment after years or even decades of maintaining a judgmental, critical and overall dissatisfied mindset.
Body positivity doesn’t happen overnight, but with enough practice, anyone can completely switch their attitude about their body. Becoming body positive starts with simply accepting your body first. Over time, self-acceptance leads to self-love and body positivity begins to feel more like a natural state of mind.
If you can do just one of the following practices every day, you should start to notice a shift in your perception in as little as a few days. For some people who’ve been at war with their bodies for a very long time, however, it can take much longer — weeks, months or possibly even years.
However long it takes for you, have faith in the process. Use the following daily habits to help you build your way to a much more body positive mindset.
1. Look at yourself in the mirror for at least 2 minutes.
It’s not uncommon to make a habit out of avoiding the mirror in the morning or evening while undressing, jumping in the shower, and redressing. Instead, make a conscious decision to stand in front of the mirror after undressing and really looking at yourself. You don’t have to like anything about what you see — all you have to do is simply take notice and accept that your physical self is there. Do it for at least a couple of minutes, and remain aware of any harsh self-talk that might pop up.
2. Be grateful for at least one physical feature.
It may be natural for you to focus on your flaws, but gratitude challenges you to recognize what features you love the most about yourself and what your body is truly capable of. You can actually combine this practice with looking in the mirror every day for five minutes. Just focus on at least one physical feature of yourself that you admire and mentally describe why you’re grateful for it. Pick a different feature every day, and as you move toward the ones you don’t like as much, you’ll be challenged even more to consciously shift your perspective.
3. Notice when you compare your body to other people’s bodies.
Social comparison is often a daily, unconscious habit for many people. Whether you constantly compare yourself to a friend you’ve known for years or abruptly compare yourself to people on social media you don’t even know, it only reinforces negative thinking. Instead of trying to fight this reaction, which usually feels impossible because it’s so automatic, simply become aware of it when you’re doing it. As you go about your day, just notice how you compare yourself to others, and over time, your awareness will grow so much that it will make you realize that all bodies are far too unique to compare them against one another.
4. Give up at least 5 minutes of unhealthy media consumption for 5 minutes of body positive media.
We’re all surrounded by images and messages both in traditional and online media that cause us to have negative perceptions of our own bodies. While you may not be able to control all of it, you can at least adopt some self-regulatory practices to help minimize it. Instead of tuning into a TV show that glamorizes a certain body type or endlessly browsing social media photos of supermodels, switch to looking for media that’s more neutral or body positive instead. Ideally, you should seek to entirely replace one form of offending media with a more positive one.
5. Do some form of physical activity.
Some research has found that physical activity had a stronger link to positive body perception and health perceptions than healthy nutrition, so if you’re interested in changing any bad health habits you might have, getting active may just be the habit that could simultaneously give you a little body positivity boost. It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything long or strenuous — something as simple as making an effort to take a leisurely 20-minute walk every morning or evening could be enough.
Progress may be slow, but practicing any or all of the above day in and day out for just a few minutes can make a huge difference. Aim to start with just one habit and then see if you can build off of that until you start to feel the love.
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