I’m sure at one point or another, we have struggled with loving ourselves. This is usually tied to the way we look and therefore leads to a negative body image. I believe that self-love is the root of everything. If we lack self-love, we tend to not care about what we do to our bodies. We eat foods that do not nourish us, we allow toxic people into our lives, and we neglect our bodies wants and needs.
One illness that is caused by a lack of self-love, is eating disorders. As you may know, I come from an eating disorder past, so I know this to be true. If we truly loved ourselves, we wouldn’t go around wishing that we looked like someone else. And we most definitely wouldn’t starve ourselves to achieve this goal. And if we really loved ourselves, we would be at peace with how we looked, we would also have the desire to take care of our bodies so that we can be at our healthiest.
But sadly I’m sure we can all agree to some level, that we all struggle with fully loving and accepting our bodies for the way they are. And I feel this lack of self-love is more common now that ever before because of the way the media glamorizes a certain body type and the way our society has made standard for what is considered beautiful. Apparently, society wants women to look like clones. To have a models body, a small nose, perfect skin, straight hair, big boobs, and a big butt. And anything outside of this, is considered less desirable. This is something I personally struggled with before and during my eating disorder. I have the complete opposite of this “desired body”. I have a boyish figure, with not much of a butt or bust to brag about, a big nose from my European roots, wild hair that is straight one day, and curly the next, and skin that is dry and breaking out about half of the time. But I’m okay with this. I have come to accept myself for the way I am, but never stopping to finding ways to improve myself so that I can be the BEST version of myself.
Even though I say this, there are still some days where I struggle to love myself. So I decided to create a list of things you can do for yourself, to help you grow your self-love and improve your body image. I hope it helps.
1. Know that your body is a loving vessel.
Treating your body like a loving vessel will not only boost your self-love but also your energy. Be conscious of what you put into your body. Eating well will help you look and feel good. So feed your body nourishing foods that are full of nutrients and life. You are what you eat. So eat foods that are alive (fruits, vegetable, etc.) rather than foods that are full of death such as animal products. Animal products are a product of suffering. So when you eat these foods, you also consume the energy of these abused and suffering animals. It’s no wonder many of us struggle with depression and low energy. Ask yourself, do you want your body to be a garden? Or a graveyard?
2. Stop comparing yourself
We have all done it at some point or another. Scrolling through social media, looking at pictures of insanely beautiful women and models. I know it’s hard to look at these types of picture and not compare yourself to them. So the next time you go on social media and start looking at these pictures for reasons to feel bad about yourself, remember that you are perfect just the way you are. That is why self-love is so important. When you are in this space and mindset, you know and believe that YOU are enough. When you focus on the good, the good gets better.
3. Touch your body gently.
Think about the last time you got a haircut and the hairdresser massaged your head. Or the last time you got a massage. Or the last time someone gave you a really long comforting hug. Touch is an incredibly powerful way of reinforcing the way you feel about your body. And if you’re touched gently, with love and care, you will feel incredible. So, try to practice gentle love and care with yourself. Wash your hair the way the hairdresser did. Wash your face the way a beauty therapist would. Hug yourself. And give yourself a massage when you’re applying moisturizer. It feels good. And it reinforces a positive, kind relationship with your body.
4. Stop saying negative things about your own and other’s bodies and refuse to listen to negative body talk.
Research shows that to some level, our brains can't tell the difference between something it hears, thinks, or says. So if you tell your friend, “You need to lose five pounds” it’s technically the same as you telling yourself, “I need to lose five pounds.” Same goes for things you may hear other people say (or hear on TV or on the radio). Your brain takes that information in and thinks the message was directed to you. Remember, if you repeat something long enough, you will come to believe it to be true.
5. Transform limiting beliefs.
The beliefs we have about ourselves and this world, shape our lives. People don’t realize how much a single limiting belief can negatively impact our lives. Observe the thoughts that you have about yourself, what you are capable of doing, and about others. Then take these thoughts, and transform them from the negative, into the positive, into a belief that has a potential for growth. For example, “I am socially awkward and bad at making friends.” And turn it into, ” I need to get better at talking to people, and I just haven’t met the right people to be friends with.” So anytime you catch yourself thinking a limiting belief, immediately transform it, and then practice believing it, and it will be your new reality. Other examples of limiting beliefs are, “I’m fat”, “I’m ugly”, “I’m bad at….”, etc. They are things you possible tell yourself on a regular basis.
Self-love is a constant journey and is something we should never stop working on.
I hope and pray that this blog post helped you out in some way. Be sure to share it with others, and let me know in the comments, what are some ways you practice self-love?