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Become More Body Positive: Part One

Hating yourself is out and loving yourself is in. There is a growing body positive movement among women which is directly combatting the heavy critical narrative many women face about their body and body image. Billions of dollars are spent every year on convincing women they aren’t beautiful and that they should change the body they have, not accept it as it is. Women consume thousands of these media messages a day, internalizing all of them and creating harmful beliefs as a result. Shifting into a body positive movement can take time but it does require action. These are 10 steps you can start taking every day to become more body positive. If you find that you are encountering a lot of stress trying to address your body, your body image issues may run deeper than surface level. Many women suffer from mild to moderate cases of Body Dysmorphic Disorder in which they have a skewed perception of their body. Work with your therapist to discuss these deeper issues in order to find solutions for making peace with your past, present, and future body.

Pinpoint your beliefs about your body

In order to start working toward a positive body image, you have to first pinpoint what negative body image you are working away from. Women can easily and readily list the parts of their body they are unhappy with and why. Women have more difficulty in identifying where their beliefs about their body come from and why they choose to adhere to those beliefs. Quickly, women realize their beliefs are in their power and do not have to be dictated by others and the beliefs they create.

Do a negative body image detox

Women turn to fashion magazines, blogs, and social media platforms for beauty advice or inspiration. Media is full of images that are digitally altered and messages that are less than encouraging. Fashion can be fun and after a time you might go back to your favorite publications. Do a negative body image detox. All the sources which make you feel like your body isn’t good enough need to be eliminated. Don’t stop there. Try to include some thought processes in your detox as well.

Practice mindfulness of your negative body image thoughts

Women can admit that their criticisms of body image don’t stop at their own bodies. Practicing mindfulness means actively practicing noticing and awareness. When women start to notice their thoughts about their own body, they also notice their thoughts about other women’s bodies as well. Women can be judgmental and downright mean. Pay attention to what you think when you look at other women’s bodies. Do you judge? Criticize? Admire? Compare? Just notice what comes up and be willing to let it go. Practice saying “all women’s bodies are beautiful”.

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