Acceptance of the body

Acceptance of the body

The body is a reliable companion that faithfully serves us throughout our lives. Regardless of our attitude towards it, it functions, sustains the operation of all systems, and regenerates itself. It allows us to breathe, eat, walk, play, dance, think, laugh, and enjoy life. The actual physical appearance differs from what we believe to be beautiful and right. This leads to a negative body image, expressed through dissatisfaction with our reflection in the mirror, negative thoughts and feelings about our appearance, and constant attempts to change it. Self-esteem and body image begin to form in childhood. A mother's eyes become the first mirror. The child realizes its value through interactions with her: the way she looks at it, holds it, feeds it. If the child is loved as it is in all its expressions, healthy self-esteem naturally forms. If it encounters rejection or condemnation in childhood or adolescence, it affects its self-esteem in the future.

Then, a person is exposed to the cult of standardized beauty. Society conveys the aspiration for the "ideal" body. We constantly compare ourselves, usually not in our favor. In an attempt to be liked by others, we focus on external validation and lose touch with ourselves. There's an illusion that changing the parameters of the body will bring love, success, and acceptance into our lives. Negative body image can range from minor insecurities to body dysmorphia, which is an obsession with nonexistent or minor body imperfections. It's important to recognize this condition and seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist in time. The body is sensitive to mental states and changes based on external circumstances. For example, if we feel fear, vulnerability, a desire for protection from the world, it may build a defense in the form of excess weight. When we don't deal with our emotions and meet our true needs, seeking instant pleasures like overeating can alleviate the pain. If we suppress feelings for an extended period, it can lead to psychosomatic disorders. If you've hated and punished your body for a long time, you can't quickly make yourself love it.

The first step is to accept your body as it is here and now. Try to explore it as if you've never seen it before. You can take a bath, light candles, or stand naked in front of a mirror. Start touching every part of your body without judgment. Notice where it feels good and where it doesn't. The areas where you don't want to look are where you need to pay more attention. This practice can be done regularly. The more you connect with your body, the more you get to know it and learn to accept its individual parts and the body as a whole. This practice is also experienced therapeutically in bathing rituals during self-care with the application of honey, scrubs, and massage strokes. The next step is to develop a respectful attitude towards your body. Try to observe and stop negative thoughts about yourself. You can write down judgmental statements and change them into kind and supportive ones. Shift your focus to your strengths by making a list of things you like about your appearance. When you have a negative thought about yourself, replace it with something you appreciate. Try to avoid anger, harsh words about yourself, even in your thoughts.

Physical activity will allow you to enjoy being in harmony with your body. Dancing, swimming, cycling, and walking provide new experiences, activate energy, allow you to feel your muscles better, regain control of your body, and trust it. Look at yourself through the eyes of people who love you. Ask your loved ones to tell you what they perceive as beautiful about you. This will boost your confidence and allow you to focus on pleasant thoughts. Take time during the day to smile at yourself in the mirror and notice interesting details and favorite features in your appearance. Learn to observe different moods and facial expressions without judgment or the need to improve your appearance. It's helpful to be among people who accept themselves to learn the same kind of perception. Eliminate conversations with those inclined to judge someone else's appearance and label them: this destructive habit distorts worldview and jeopardizes self-respect. Start taking care of your body and enjoying it. Feel good enough now.

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