A few years ago, a dear friend of mine told me something that totally took me by surprise. I was complaining about my hair, I wanted it to be thicker, brighter and longer. She looked at me with compassion, and said: “Dear, maybe if you start loving it, it will love you back…”That was mind-blowing. Loving my hair? What did she mean by that? Today I get it, and I want to share what this “hair love” meant for me.
We’ve been conditioned by society to believe in beauty standards of the moment in order to fit in. We intuitively know that the definition of “good-looking” is very personal and subjective, but it is a basic human need to be liked and accepted, to feel a sense of approval from the group or community. So if someone you trust once told you your nose was too big or your legs were too short, you believed this subjective judgment and it became your own truth.
Loving our bodies is a necessity. Your body is the only place you have to live in. It is the temple of your soul.
Here are some suggestions for building a better relationship with yourself:
1. Make friends with your body.
Take good care of it. Give it enough sleep, nourishing foods and plenty of water. Sleep well and, despite your busy schedule, find time to charge your own batteries and to relax. If you don’t have the time, make it. We all get 24 hours a day.
2. Healthy is beautiful.
Use exercise as a way to build feel-good hormones and have fun, not get “the perfect body”. Make health your focus and the rest will come.
3. Stop criticizing any aspects of your body.
Words are powerful. The more you complain about your negative body image, the more you start to believe it.
4. Stop comparing your body to others.
No two bodies are the same: we are all unique and it is your uniqueness that makes you special.
5. Not everyone is watching!
Don’t think everyone passing by on the street have their eyes on you and judging you. In most of the cases, it’s only the story in our mind. People have many other things occupying their minds rather than the way you look.
6. Remember beauty is subjective.
You will never please everyone, no matter how you look and how much you might try.
7. Think of what you like.
If you go into “flaws thinking”, find a positive thought to counteract it:
“I might not like my butt, but I do like my face”.
8. Practice positive affirmations and fill your body with thoughts of love.
“I am grateful to have a strong body.”
“I love every single piece of my body.”
“I approve of my body exactly the way it is.”
9. Be grateful for your body.
I once asked a client to list down the things she liked about her body. It wasn’t easy and she could hardly come up with three different things. Then I asked her to spend the entire day after with her right arm tied behind her back. She couldn’t resist more than one hour. After this exercise, she realized how lucky she was for having two healthy arms because some people don’t.
10. You are much more than your body.
Do not try to identify your human worth with your physical appearance. Aging is a natural process.
And who are you, really, besides your body? Are you a successful professional woman, a mother who is raising great kids, someone who wants to make the world a much better place? Focus on your current achievements, your future wants and desires. Go from your mind to your soul.
CALL TO ACTION:
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Originally published at sarafabiancoaching.com on August 13, 2016.
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com