Loving your body. For many, those words should only be strung together in a sentence if they have the word never in front of them. But why is loving our bodies so difficult? Why can we never be content with what we’ve been given?
For me, I have always struggled with my height. I stand at 5’9 exactly, and when I was in middle school or high school, I felt like my height was a curse that could mean I would never find a man tall enough to marry me. I used to cringe at the very thought of heels and constantly slouched down to see if I could blend in with the shorter people around me. But after awhile, I just got tired. I got tired of wishing I was short and curvy and had red hair that naturally curled.
As women, we always want what someone else has. That means that right now, even if you are sitting in your grossest pair of sweatpants reading this, someone is envious of how you look. Someone would kill to have your eye color, hair color, and body type.
So how did I turn from a slouching freak to someone who barely owns a pair of shoes that doesn’t have slight heels; I’ll show you.
It Takes Progress
I still have days where I wake up and hate everything about my appearance. Days where I shudder at the thoughts of wearing those heels to another function. Or days I’m just bloated with acne all over my face. I’m sure that you have those days too. Just remember that learning to turn away from your insecurities you have about yourself is a learning process. It takes daily effort to banish those thoughts that poison your mind. But stick to it. Eventually, you’ll have more positive thoughts than negative ones.
Don’t Surround Yourself With Negative People
I know that this is probably most people’s experience with high school, but I had some pretty terrible friends. I kid you not; it wasn’t until I came to my freshman year of college that I actually got complimented. My high school friends were always telling me that this boy wouldn’t like me, that my clothes were ugly, and that I was too tall. Looking back now, I know that they were just insecure, but it didn’t stop the wounds from forming. If you have people in your life, or even parents, who have contributed to your negative view of yourself, don’t listen to them any longer. Try to remove yourself from their negativity as much as you can. People don’t determine your worth, so don’t let their labels stick.
Instead of turning green with envy about the girl with beautiful hair in your workplace, compliment her. People that may appear confident or attractive to you don’t always think the same thing about themselves. You never know who is suffering from the same insecurity you are.
Go To Counseling
Now I know that counseling can have a bad stigma associated with it. And if you aren’t struggling with a particular situation or mental illness, you might think that you don’t need counseling. But the way that we view ourselves is created by thought patterns in our head. That means, that every time you think you are ugly, fat, stupid, etc. you are forming a pattern in your brain to think that way naturally. But with the help of counselors, you can begin to see the flaws in the way of thinking and forge new patterns for your brain to turn to instead.
Be Open About It
The hardest thing about being a woman is how closed off we can be to each other. Instead of relating to someone when they open up about their problems with eating or the anxiety they get shopping, we judge them. We sit there quietly and don’t speak up. But let’s change that. Let’s be open with our friends and loved ones about our struggles. Likewise, let’s be honest with people who admit their struggles to us.
Empower Your Friends
I am someone who enjoys brutal honesty as much as the next person, but be cognizant of others feelings when you are talking about their bodies. These people are supposed to be your friends after all. So be honest if you’re trying on clothes with a friend and it doesn’t look good. But, instead of agreeing with her that she looks fat, tell her it’s not that flattering, or you don’t love the color. I’m not saying you should lie, but I am also saying that the reason you don’t like something your friend is wearing, doesn’t have to be an automatic hit to their self-esteem. Praise your friends for their beauty outside and inside. Don’t be afraid to remind them of what makes them amazing when they have a bad day.
Are you having trouble admitting or describing how you’re feeling to other people? Why not write it down? Try to write down the negative thoughts you have on a piece of paper. Then, write a truth beside each lie you believe. So, for example, I might write:
Is annoying to everyone around her- Lie.
Is an intentional friend who has an energetic personality- Truth.
Yes, we all have flaws, but we all have amazing gifts to share too.
I hope that these tips can help you to get started if you struggle with insecurity in any area of your life. You are so much more than you can see, believe that and move forward today.
For more healthy habits, check out this article.