5 Ways To Love Your Body — Even When Life Is On Pause

Photo: getty
5 Ways To Love Your Body
Self

It's important to learn how to love your body.

I remember seeing a cartoon titled, "The Difference Between Women and Men," that had a naked man and woman each looking into a full-length mirror.

The woman saw herself as three times bigger while the overweight, balding man saw a chiseled Adonis.

While I know some men are painfully uncomfortable about their looks, being perpetually self-conscious and unduly critical is more often a problem for women.

So, unless you’re one of the very few who are genetically blessed with society’s idea of perfection, you probably exaggerate your flaws.

RELATED: 4 Small But Important Things To Try If You Want To Truly Love Yourself And Your Body

Many women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are judgmental, which may very well be projection.

Meanwhile, men are, of course, just as likely to be grateful. By the time a man sees you naked, he already desires you and is more focused on enjoying than criticizing.

The man who loves women is more like the impressionist painter — appreciating a pleasing picture and fuzzy on details. They are turned on by shape and hate it if you start pointing out your perceived body faults because it mars his vision of you.

The one person that needs convincing that your body is lovable is you.

Loving yourself necessarily includes a positive body image. Perfect or not, it needs your support, acceptance, and loving care in order to truly feel good about yourself.

So, here are 5 ways to love your body — even when life is on pause.

1. Be good to your body.

Stand naked in front of your mirror and find one lovely feature — hair, eyes, lips, it doesn’t matter.

When you look into any mirror, don’t leave until you can find a positive picture.

It is your perception of reality that may be damaging your confidence level. Your view is not necessarily reality. Learning to love yourself is the best beauty tip of all.

You have no legitimate excuse for not dressing in a flattering style, practicing self-maintenance daily, and packaging your true self in an attractive exterior.

Unfortunately, many women take care of their homes, pets, and everyone around them at the expense of caring for their own bodies and health.

2. Posture helps.

Virtually everyone has a roll around the middle if they're slouching. Yes, our model ideal is tall and thin. Just as important to her look, she stands tall, which helps the skeletal structure as well as body presentation.

The way you look and carry yourself can affect your attitude. It also sends a message to dates and potential mates about your interest level.

And you look more alluring and confident with shoulders above your hips than rounded over, which can be taken for hiding from those around you.

3. Work out.

Exercise is a health essential with proven capacity to improve your immune system and prevent disease.

Working out also releases endorphins, the feel-good brain chemicals. It not only helps make your body look great but the mental, emotional, and social benefits should also be enough to get you up and out of the house or in front of a yoga or aerobics DVD.

RELATED: 15 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Self-Esteem (That Can Be Done *Anywhere*)

4. Make sure you have proper nutrition.

Whether or not you are what you eat, you will look like it. So, eat mostly fresh, healthy foods that satisfy you. Eat only when you are hungry.

What you do and don’t put into your body every day can have a huge impact on your mood.

While foods like chocolate and pasta can give you immediate and short-lived feelings of satisfaction, too much of anything can make you feel groggy and grumpy in the long run.

Eating more protein, fruits, and vegetables and fewer simple carbohydrates will give you more energy. And if you don’t already, take a multivitamin that’s appropriate for your age and medical conditions.

5. Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.

Catch those unruly negative thoughts and flip them to positive thoughts. It's an art. Just try it.

When you make the conscious decision to be a more positive person, you’ll be amazed at how many more people you’ll attract. A quick return to positivity may be your most important asset.

No matter how physically attractive and charming or intelligent you are, if you see someone who’s "undesirable" or "not lovable" when you look in the mirror, other people will see you that way, too.

Self-care helps create better health and more optimism and it also increases your attractiveness. It’s instinctual to notice a woman making an effort to attract.

Most animals preen and clean to make sure their fur is sleek and un-matted. Among animals, looking unkempt and with patchy fur is a sign the animal is diseased or dying, and others shun her.

It's not so different for humans.

Unclean hair and frumpy clothing are unlikely to communicate a dire disease, but it certainly doesn’t draw anyone to you either.

You want potential dates, mates, employers, associates, and friends to see you as full of life and ready to date.

Loving treatment of your body will up your chances of attracting dates love but even more importantly you will feel better about yourself.

RELATED: Finding The Balance: A Letter To Myself About Self-Love

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

Dr. Janet Page is a psychotherapist working with individuals, couples, and groups in New York City and Atlanta. For more information, visit her website.

This article was originally published at Huffpost. Reprinted with permission from the author.

Author
Expert