Love Your Body

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Love Your Body
January 15, 2022
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Love Your Body

A healthier body starts with loving your body exactly as it is.

We’re just entering 2022, and there is still plenty of time to set a goal or intention or make a plan for the goal that you have in mind. If you’ve decided to make your New Year’s Resolution improve your relationship with yourself and your body, but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve put together some tips and practices on how to cultivate a healthier body image. 

Exposure Therapy

We mean this literally. Spend time with yourself naked! 

And while we encourage all manner of sexy activities, try spending some time in the nude just because. 

In the digital age we live in, we’ve lost touch with what the human body naturally looks like. When we see people on screens, they’ve likely had the benefit of stylists, estheticians, and photoshop. They’re human, but not humans in their natural form. We don’t spend enough time looking at real humans, or ourselves. 

Spending more time naked gives you time to familiarize yourself with your body, and human bodies in general. Walk around your house naked, eat lunch naked, lie in bed naked. . . whatever you want. 

And when you’re ready to take your visual relationship a little further, try doing some mirror work. No, this isn’t witchcraft, but the results can be magical. All you have to do is spend time in front of a mirror, preferably naked but this isn’t a requirement. And then, just sit. Focus on studying yourself. 

If you feel uneasy ogling yourself in the mirror, don’t feel bad. It’s normal. Despite living in our bodies, we don’t spend much time actually seeing ourselves. Start out with 5 minutes a day, and go from there. Proceed as much as you’re comfortable, but don’t be afraid to push yourself a little bit. If you can get past your mental discomfort, a better relationship with your body waits on the other side. 

Practice Mindfulness

When you notice yourself starting to engage in negative self-talk, try reframing your inner narrative. Instead of just evaluating your body based off how it looks, focus on practicing gratitude for what our body does provide you with. 

Your body is not the enemy, and it’s not supposed to be exclusively ornamental. Learn to appreciate your body as a tool that allows you to interact with the world. The senses, mobility, and cognitive thought are all facilitated by the human body, and we think that’s pretty cool. 

You don’t always have to feel beautiful or hot or amazing. That’s normal. Cultivating body neutrality is often an easier goal to work toward. The guiding principle of body neutrality is viewing the body as a tool and learning to see that so-called imperfections of the body are totally normal. 

Wear clothes that feel good to you and that look good to you now. Life is short, much too short to obsess over a pre-Covid pair of jeans. Buy yourself a new pair, or several, that fit and flatter the body you currently have. Quit putting off wearing the clothes you really like. Dressing the way you want will help cultivate a better relationship with your body, because you’re making your brain see your current body as something that deserves to be adorned in clothes that make you feel your best. 

Find the things that make you feel your best physically, spiritually, emotionally, and sexually. Do things that make you feel good, not just mentally but physically. Indulge in your body and the sensorial experience of having one. 

Get Physical

You do not have to become the fittest person ever to have a good working relationship with your body. Saying that, spending time improving your flexibility and mobility will make living in your body more comfortable. This is only about using your body as a tool of feeling good, not looking good. 

Moving your body in a joyful way is one of the great pleasures of life. Movement should be fun. Whether it’s going on a walk, dancing, yoga, or powerlifting doesn’t matter. It should be something you enjoy and that makes you feel good. The best daily movement is the movement that you genuinely enjoy. Putting yourself on a grueling workout regime rarely works and even more rarely does anything to repair a challenging relationship with your body. Instead of treating exercise like a punishment, find a way to make it fun. 

Play, which is children’s main form of exercise, is oriented around physical and emotional joy. There is no reason you can’t recreate this feeling in adulthood. You deserve to have fun and happiness in your body at all ages. 

And of course, hitting your sexual stride will help change your relationship with your body. As humans are sexual beings, it’s our bodies that facilitate most of these experiences. What we touch and taste and see matters to our sexual pleasure as human beings. Spend some extra time learning what really makes your body feel alive. 

Slow Down

Finally, give yourself permission to have an imperfect relationship with your own body. What if instead of looking at your perceived hang-ups and shortcomings as failures, you  learned to see them as stepping stones toward the place you really want to be. Loving your body is a practice, not an activity. It’s going to take a while to develop those mental and spiritual muscles to make peace with yourself, and that’s ok. 

If you start repairing your relationship with your body now, imagine how different it might be next New Year. 

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