In the wake of Butterfly: Foundation for Eating Disorders, in collaboration with Sportsgirl’s “Love Your Body” week, I thought I would take some time to share 6 tips on how to love yourself more. Too often, and largely through the comparisons we make to other people whether they be media personalities, friends or strangers, we let our own perceptions of our body image dictate our sense of self worth. This can be a lifetime struggle for some, but you can reach out for support and you don’t have to go through this alone.
Here are my 6 tips to love yourself more:
- Think about all of the things your body has allowed you to do in life so far. From the simple acts of helping you get out of bed, or going for a walk, to the more exciting or intense experiences of life such as playing sport, travelling or falling in love.
- Be a friend and supporter to your body, find ways to appreciate your body rather than criticise it. This can be achieved as simply as talking to your own body and self with the same kindness and appreciation you would to a friend or loved one.
- Devise a list of 10 positive things about yourself without bringing your appearance into the discussion, don’t let your sometimes unhealthy views about your body define your whole sense of self-worth.
- Change your attitude towards exercise. Look at exercise as a way to feel good about yourself, not to burn calories. This is made easier if we can find a type of exercise that we enjoy. Some prefer social sports, others prefer individual exercise. I personally incorporate my exercise into my daily routine like walking further to or getting off a few bus stops early, always taking the stairs and going for hikes outside rather than walking at a gym on a treadmill. For me this feels more enjoyable and relaxing.
- Make a conscious effort to become more aware of making comparisons to others or when body shaming yourself. A lot of the time we can do this unconsciously and the negativity can build up. When you do notice the negative self talk you are engaging in, take 3 deep breaths and with each breath out let go of that negative inner dialogue. Imagine how much more we could achieve each day and how much happier we would be if we didn’t spend as much time and energy beating ourselves up.
- Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are and who help you feel good about yourself, rather than make you feel like you don’t fit in or are not good enough.
Alyce Mayman, Counsellor and Psychotherapist
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