1. Practice Being Grateful for Your Body
When we come to the end of our lives, will we think about how we should have spent more time in front of the mirror obsessing about our looks or worrying about our weight? NO—because the important things in life are the times spent with our family and friends, and being healthy enough to enjoy that. Take a few minutes in front of the mirror each time you get dressed and begin to practice gratitude for your body. Notice the beautiful things about yourself. Research shows that people who actively practice gratitude are healthier, less depressed, and more resilient during tough times. If you can’t think of anything at first, stand there each morning until you think of at least one—and I promise that eventually the list of things you love and appreciate about yourself will grow from there.
2. Be Kind to Yourself
Taking care of your body, treating yourself to a massage, exercising regularly and becoming mindful of what you eat will not only boost your self-confidence, but it’s also the practice of self-care. The more you treat your body with the loving kindness it deserves, the more you will learn to naturally love it over time AND the more it will love you back—you may very well find yourself living with more energy and less pain.
3. Let Go of Your Inner Perfectionist
Perhaps like I was, you are a perfectionist. Maybe you spend a long time getting ready to leave the house and obsess over tiny details, putting pressure on yourself to look a certain way? Exhausting, isn’t it!? Well I’m here to tell you to stop doing that! Studies show that perfectionism is strongly linked to depression. Save the time you spend telling yourself you’re not good enough or trying to hide your ‘imperfections’ and instead, learn to accept yourself for who you truly are, even with the parts that you deem to be imperfect. Someone who can learn to accept and love themselves will exude confidence and beauty inside and out, and will attract more positive people and experiences to them.
4. Let Go of Judgment
Sometimes when we are hard on ourselves and in our deepest moments of insecurity, we can be extremely judgmental of others. It’s a bizarre way of making ourselves feel better, but as we all know, it’s deeply unkind. Catch yourself the next time you notice you or those around you judging the way other people look or behave, and refrain from joining in with critical gossip if you find yourself surrounded by it. Practicing kindness and acceptance towards others is the first step to becoming more mindful about our own thoughts and actions.
5. Begin to Notice Your Internal Critic
Start to change those nasty internal thoughts and how you talk to yourself. How many times a day do you tell yourself something negative? Would you say these things to your best friend? (No way!) Start to learn to turn down the volume on your inner critic, swap your negative statements for positive ones, and begin to become your own best friend.
Get really curious about the qualities that make you unique and different from the crowd. Self-acceptance is about learning to love and accept the whole of you, every internal part of you that’s working really hard to keep you mobile and breathing every single second of the day! Remembering that you and your body are a miracle helps keep you connected to that fact that you are something to be celebrated. So stop wasting time worrying about the things you cannot change and start being grateful for all the amazing things you have instead.