Do you struggle with self-consciousness? Do you wish your body was more skinny, tanned, curvy, or just something else? If you do, you’re not alone. A staggering 91% of women feel unhappy about their bodies. However, there are several ways you can teach yourself to love yourself no matter what body type you have—skinny or curvy, hourglass or round. Here are 10 tips to help you feel confident in your own skin and love your body as-is.
- Take a break from social media. There is no shame in taking a break from social media for your mental health. You don’t even have to explain it if you don’t want to. Just delete the app and spend your time doing something else. After a few days, you can decide if you want to download the app again. Social media, especially Instagram, can be tough on your self-image. Do yourself a favor and take a break. Also, whenever you see a post from someone else that makes you feel jealous of their body, go ahead and mute their posts. They won’t notice and you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.
- If you struggle with your inner voice, give the voice a name. Most of us who feel insecure about our body shape often hear criticism from an inner voice. This inner voice is not speaking the truth. It’s just your brain firing down the exact same pathways you’ve struggled with for years. Over time, it is possible to tell this voice to shut up. In the meantime, give your inner voice a name (preferably a name you despise). Whenever that inner voice starts nagging about your belly bulge, just say, “shut up, Stefan,” and find something else to focus your thoughts on until the negative voice goes away.
- Stop weighing yourself. Unless you’re getting weighed at the doctor’s office, don’t step on the scale. The scale has a funny habit of making everyone feel bad. Instead of focusing on losing weight according to the scale, focus on things that make you feel healthier. If you start feeling stressed about your body and you want to see how much you weigh, try doing some jumping jacks or going for a walk instead. Also, try talking with a therapist and ask for some ways to feel comfortable with your weight.
- Wear clothes that fit. I know the struggle. You really love this shirt or those jeans, so you squeeze yourself into them and say, “I’ll make it fit!” But if you want to start accepting your body shape, stop wearing clothes that are too big or too small. Buy new clothes online, or just wear the clothes you have that fit. If you wear clothes that are too small, not only is that super uncomfortable, but it also gives you a constant reminder that you’re too big for these specific clothes. When you wear clothes that fit, you’ll start to feel better about yourself because you won’t be constantly thinking about your size. Also, don’t be afraid to wear leggings if you want to wear leggings. Just make sure it’s the right size!
- Put on some perfume. Research shows that when women put on some kind of fragrance, like perfume or deodorant, they are more likely to feel confident about their weight and size. When we smell good, we also feel good. So go find a new kind of deodorant, hand lotion, or perfume, and try out something new! No need to wait around for a special occasion. Treat yourself and use it as an excuse to fall in love with your body.
- Feel grateful for your body. Before you can love your body, you have to feel grateful for it. What does your body do for you? Obviously, all your internal organs work hard to keep you alive and well. But what about things like your teeth? Or your eyelids? There are a lot of body parts that we tend to forget about. Practice talking to yourself out loud and tell your body what a great job it’s doing. Once you feel grateful for your body and all of its amazing parts, you can start accepting it for how it looks.
- Love the little things. We all have something about our bodies that we like, or at least tolerate. Instead of focusing on your belly or your thighs, focus on the little things. Your eyes sparkle when you smile. You have very cute ears. The little mole on your neck is adorable. Or maybe you have naturally thick eyelashes, or you love how soft your hands are. Accepting your body shape is the overall goal, but it can be really hard at first. So try to fall in love with the little things about your body. The overall self-love will come later.
- Practice taking pictures of yourself. When was the last time you saw yourself in a picture and felt shocked? As humans, we’re not used to seeing ourselves from an outside perspective. It can be tough to look at pictures of yourself, for a variety of reasons. Maybe you didn’t like your outfit, or the lighting was bad. Maybe they took the picture from an angle that isn’t flattering to your face shape. Whatever the reason, there’s an easy way to work through this. Wear an outfit that makes you feel confident and sassy. Then snap a bunch of selfies. Try different poses, facial expressions, and camera angles. It might feel weird at first, but trust me, it works wonders! The key is to have fun with it, so go all out if you want to!