The body positivity movement is taking off. Women everywhere are being encouraged to lift each other up, and to learn to love their bodies just as they are.
For a lot of us, it’s relatively easy to direct love and kindness towards other women. The problem comes when we try to direct it at ourselves. How exactly do we stop the negative self talk and learn to love the skin we’re in?
Stop and Listen
The most important step you can take towards self love is learning to listen to yourself. If you are in a situation where you are beginning to feel badly about yourself, then take a moment to reconnect with yourself.
If you are in a room with other people, excuse yourself for a moment and go to the bathroom or go outside. Then really concentrate on listening to your heart, you can even place your hand to your chest to feel it. A new study has suggested that people who are better able to hear their heart are less likely to objectify themselves, and therefore are less likely to feel badly about how they look.
This is also a great mindfulness exercise, which can work wonder to stop the whirling of negative self talk in its tracks.
List What You Like
Thinking positively is a skill, and it needs to be practiced just like any other. A really simple way to practice thinking positively about yourself is to spend a few minutes every day listing five things that you like about yourself. For example, you might like your arms, your hair or your teeth. Using a journal to list the things you like about yourself is particularly powerful.
You can also try combining this with a daily gratitude practice, where you list five things that you are grateful for in your life.
Once you get used to looking for these positive things, your mind will start to do it automatically and you will naturally think more positively.
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s tempting to hold off on buying new clothes because you want to wait until you reach your goal. This is an incredibly negative message to send yourself.
You can look fantastic whatever you size you are. Rather than wearing your old clothes and feeling miserable, treat yourself to some designer plus size clothing and feel great as you are now!
Learn to Love Moving
Movement is really important because not only does it help to keep you healthy, it releases endorphins which will make you feel better.
The key is to try and learn to love moving, rather than seeing it as something you have to do in order to lose weight.
Try putting on your favourite song and dancing around your kitchen, or even attend a dance class if you feel confident enough. You’ll be surprised how much of a smile it puts on your face – and you’ll be accidentally exercising, too!
Denying yourself food and feeling hungry in the name of losing weight is a sure fire way to feel terrible.
Instead, try to change the things that you are eating. Eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods will keep you feeling fuller for longer, and provide you with more of the nutrients you need into the bargain.