Body Positivity: How to achieve it?
Body positivity is a popular subject these days, as more people are recognizing the negative patterns that they feel towards their bodies. Body Positivity is the belief that your body is beyond any scrutiny and negativity. You should look at yourself with positivity no matter if you fit the societal standard of beauty or not. Negative body image often comes as a speed breaker amid your journey to body positivity.
According to National Eating Disorders Collaboration (2017), body image is the “perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception.”
From this definition, we can identify that a ‘positive body image’ is not just about how you feel, but also how you feel and think about your body and how you behave in an external environment.
It can be boiled down to four basic types –
- Perceptual body image: how you see your body
- Affective body image: how you feel about your body
- Cognitive body image: how you think about your body
- Behavioral body image: the way you behave as a result of your perceptual, affective, and cognitive body image
In order to attain a positive body image, first of all, you must identify what is pushing you towards a negative body image.
Your negative view of your body can stem from various aspects. Some of them are –
- A perfectionist view of your body
This refers to the mentality of holding an impossible standard for how your body must look to be perfect – which is very difficult and/or impossible to achieve.
- Social Comparisons
Comparing your body to other people – either your peers, and friends or people and influencers on social media can also emit negative body image..
- Being highly critical of your body
Criticizing yourself constantly for the way you look can also contribute in internalizing the idea that something is wrong with your body.
Once you identify where your negative body image stems from, and accept your negative thought patterns, you can foster your energy to manifest positive body image.
Related Article: LIVING WITH BODY IMAGE ISSUES IN A FAT-PHOBIC SOCIETY
Whilst different things work for different people, here are a few steps you can take to toss out the negative thoughts and develop positive body image:
- Practice Daily Gratitude Towards your Body
Your body is yours and yours alone. Nobody has the right to your body and you are the one who has the responsibility to protect it and flower it. We often scrutinize our bodies by putting it under the lens of societal expectations and standards of beauty.
Instead of that, what we can do is practice daily Gratitude. When you wake up every day, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself why you’re grateful to have this body and what you love about your body. If your body withstands all the negative things you say to it, imagine how strong it will be once you start saying good things about it.
- Follow the ‘right’ influencers on social media
We spend a lot of time with social media. And we also follow a lot of influencers – who are constantly posting pictures of their ‘supposedly’ amazing lives, and perfect bodies. Having these people in our feeds can influence the way we think of ourselves. It often pressurized us to scrutinize everything we don’t have and punish ourselves for the same.
Instead of these toxic influencers, we can start following motivators, body positivity activists, writers, plant enthusiasts and make our social media feed a positive space. A simple ‘follow-unfollow’ button can change your whole life.
- Reward your body, not punish it.
Taking care of your body is a great step towards a positive body image. However, many of the times, we do it with a negative view of our body – and lead to punish it. We exercise in scrutiny with dissection of everything bad about ourselves, keep ourselves from what we like to eat and become miserable.
Instead, if we start rewarding our body rather than punishing it, the exercise, and diet would be so much more fun and easier. Don’t you think?
- Listen to yourself, not others
There are so many people saying bad things about you. And sometimes they become the main vocalist. But in reality, they are the background noises and you are the vocalist. Always listen to yourself first and make sure the voice in your head is yours only and it speaks positively to you. Don’t give importance to the background noises. This is a difficult process and takes a lot of effort. But why don’t you start today?
Achieving a positive body image is a long process and it takes continuous effort. But if we spend enough time focusing on ourselves and give ourselves the time to foster positive energy, we will definitely get there!