Real Life

8 empowering ways to learn to love your body

Life is too short to hate the skin you're in.

By Laura Masia
A recent study has revealed that 93% of Australian women want to change their body shape and physique. That leaves a tiny 7% of women who are comfortable in their skin.
Although this statistic is disheartening, it isn't shocking.
Every day women are told that they are not good enough and this translates into destructive, negative self-talk.
We teach our kids that they are absolutely perfect the way they are, and it's time to use the same thinking about our own beautiful bodies.
Here are our top tips for finding self-love.
Treat yourself with the kindness you would give to a friend.

1. Treat yourself kindly

Remember what your mother used to say?
If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say it at all.
If you wouldn't tell your best friend that her arms look fat in that dress, you certainly should never say it to yourself.
It's not about what you see when you step on the scales.

2. Positive affirmations

Whenever we look in the mirror, it's easy to zone in on the things you don't like.
Instead, switch the focus.
Look at yourself in the mirror, and focus on the things you like about yourself.
Tell yourself that you are beautiful out loud.
At first, you may feel a bit silly, but if you commit to the practice every day, you will start to believe it.

3. Be amazed by what your body can do

Every month, your skin replaces itself.
Your stomach lining is brand new every five days.
Our bodies are extraordinary, healing machines working tirelessly to keep us alive and kicking.
Our body is our vehicle to get us from point A to B, but ultimately, you are so much more than that.
While it's important to keep your body healthy, it's equally important to spend time working on your mental health and self-esteem too.
Getting a little bit of sunshine each day will work wonders.

4. Get stress out of your system

When you feel stressed, your hypothalamus, the area of your brain in charge of releasing hormones, instructs your body to release the stress hormone, Cortisol.
Usually cortisol is released in response to our natural fight or flight mentality and our bodies expect it to be burned.
But if our stress is ongoing, just like body image associate stress is, we never really get it out of our system.
Excess cortisol can give you high blood pressure, insomnia, increased depression, and headaches just to name a few!
One way to combat these feelings are to get active.
Aerobic activities are a brilliant way to burn up cortisol. Remember – a little bit of cardio goes a long way!

5. Get outside

There are so many benefits for getting your daily dose of vitamin D.
A multitude of studies have found that lower levels of vitamin D are associated with depression.
This is because when you have high levels of cortisol in your system, your body is not as able to absorb as much vitamin D.
Sit outside in the sun for ten minutes a day, or make sure you're eating foods like salmon, eggs and mushrooms.
Life is too short to hate your body.

6. Focus on health and wellbeing

It's natural for your weight to fluctuate each day due to a variety of factors such as water retention and that time of the month!
Although the scale can be useful, it's important to take the results with a grain of salt and measure your progress in other ways. Can you run further than you did yesterday?
Or do you feel stronger while you're bringing in the shopping? Maybe your jeans are getting a little bit loose.
Amazing! Keep up the good work.

7. 10 things I love about me

Forget about what you look like.
Make a list of ten things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your appearance.
Your kindness, sense of humour and your courageous spirit are all much better traits to focus on than stretch marks or belly rolls.
Show the world the real you!

8. Dress how YOU want

Life is too short to only wear black dresses and tummy-sucking undies, no matter how slimming it is.
It's time to forget about how other people perceive you, and portray your best self.
Bring out your favourite coloured skirt and your bright red dress.
Don't be afraid to be seen in all of your glory.

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