"Speak to your body in a loving way. It's the only one you've got, it's your home, and it deserves respect."
In a world that appears to be inundated with Love Island influencers, glamorous celebrities and misleading "fitspo" posts, being body positive arguably could not be harder. Social media feeds, magazines and TV shows are flooded with images of super slim women and ripped men. We're so overwhelmed by these images that, over the last two decades, consciousness of body image has grown exponentially. By spotlighting a small proportion of body types in the media we forget that the world is a spectrum of different shapes and sizes. The result of this? We forget that are body is more than just the way we look in the mirror. We forget about what's inside. We forget that it is this body that enables us to do life. Start thinking more about what your body can do, rather than how it doesn't look.
Life is too short to worry about how we look, whether we should (?!?!?) wear a pair of shorts, whether we can take off our top in the gym, or even what others think of us. Learning to love our body will be the first step to tackling a number of other issues. We can improve our relationships, raise our confidence, improve our mental health, and just do more!
"How do I do this?" I hear you ask. Here are 5 tips to improving body positivity:
Check your social media. Are you following people that make you unhappy about the way you look? If yes, unfollow them and start following people that motivate and inspire you.
Spend time with people who lift you up. It's easier to feel more positive about yourself when you spend time with people who are supportive of you and equally supportive of themselves.
Make a list of 8-10 things you like about yourself. It might sound ridiculous but writing this down and checking back on it frequently will remind you of all the positive things you are
Challenge your negative thoughts. When you start to criticise your body, challenge the negative comments. Remind yourself that you don't need to change anything and that the shape of your body determines nothing.
Focus your energy on doing something to make you, or others, feel good. Practice self-care or reach out to other people, both can help you feel better about yourself.
No one is going to remember you for the way you looked. They'll remember you for the things you did and the personality you embodied.