Developing a Positive Body Image: 10 Steps to Loving Your Own Body

1. Stop the Negative Self-Talk

If you have a habit of criticizing yourself every time you look in the mirror, the best thing you can do is to silence that voice. It can be easier said than done. To stop hating your body and start loving it, though, it’s a necessary step.

One of the best ways to do this is to practice speaking positively about yourself. Instead of saying, “this swimsuit makes my stomach look horrible,” say “my curves look great in this!”

Again, it can take some getting used to and a hefty amount of practice. But, when you silence the negative self-talk, you can start to move forward in loving your body entirely. 

2. Think About How You Treat Everyone Else

Most people who “hate” their bodies are the ones who are quick to compliment everyone else. Would you criticize the looks of a family member or friend? Probably not. 

So, treat yourself as your own best friend. Don’t let your negative thoughts push you to treat yourself with any less praise than you would with those closest to you. 

3. Don’t Compare Yourself

Again, using social media to compare yourself to others can drive you crazy. Between photo filters, “good” angles, and lighting, people can make themselves look much different on social media. It’s not always reality, so don’t view it that way. 

4. Be in Tune with How You Feel

Some people get so focused on numbers on a scale or jean sizes that they don’t pay attention to how they genuinely feel. Some of the healthiest and fittest people in the world who work out every day are considered overweight—even obese!

So, try paying less attention to the numbers you see. Instead, pay attention to how you feel. Are you happy? Do you feel healthy? Do you have energy? Those are things to be proud of, no matter what a scale says. 

5. Take Care of Yourself

Doing things that make you feel good inside and out can help you to develop a more positive body image. For some people, that might mean going to the spa. For others, it could mean going to the gym. 

Something as simple as splurging on a luxurious body butter or taking a yoga class can make you feel good about yourself while taking care of your body at the same time. When you do good things for yourself, you’re more likely to feel better about your appearance. 

6. Surround Yourself with Support

The people you surround yourself with can either build you up or break you down. Ultimately, what you believe is up to you, and how you see yourself is up to you. But if you’re constantly being criticized over your appearance, your weight, the clothes you wear, etc., it could be time to find a different social circle. 

Spend time with people who love you the way you are, and who are quick to build you up! When the people you trust see you as beautiful, you’re more likely to see yourself the same way. 

7. Give Your Body Credit

No matter what body type you have, appreciating the things you can do with that body type will help you to love it. Are you considered overweight, but you’re the top dog in your spin class? Can you lift a weight you never thought you would be able to?

You’re likely stronger and more powerful than you give yourself credit for, and it’s all because of what your body can do for you. What’s not to love about that?

8. Fight Off Perfectionism

There is no such thing as a perfect body. Even if you think you’ll be happier losing weight, toning up, or dressing differently, it’s essential to have realistic expectations. You might think a certain actress, model, or even someone in your life has a perfect body. They don’t. They may also have insecurities to face. 

While it’s vital to take care of yourself and make healthy choices, don’t strive for perfection when it comes to your body. It’s already perfect. 

9. Celebrate Successes

Celebrate milestones you achieve when it comes to reaching your health and fitness goals. This approach could be anything from running your first mile to beating your best weight on the bench. As stated above, your body can do amazing things if you’re willing to work with it instead of against it. 

When you do reach those crucial goals, don’t be afraid to celebrate! It will give you the motivation to keep working harder, and it will help you to appreciate your body much more. Developing a positive body image comes step by step, after all. 

10. Find What Works for You

Whether it’s a diet plan, weight loss routine, or just a way to change your line of thinking, what works for someone else may not always work for you. 

If you want to develop a positive body image, finding a routine that works for you is the best way to do it. When you’re comfortable with that routine, you’re more likely to stick with it. 

Developing a positive body image isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve been listening to negative self-talk for too long. Keep these steps in mind to ditch your inner critic and start loving every inch of your body. 

For more support, please contact our office today or visit our trauma counseling page for details.