The Comparison Trap
Living in a society that puts such a strong emphasis on physical appearance, self-comparison is inevitable. It’s extremely hard to avoid comparing your own body to the bodies of the models we see in the countless advertisements for all of the weight loss and diet supplements, over-priced clothes and perfumes, beauty products and treatments, etc. surrounding us. Spending hours in the mirror searching for so-called “flaws” and wishing to look a different way leads us to have self-degrading thoughts and shame our bodies, further resulting in unhealthy and negative body image and low self-esteem.
The next time you find yourself entangled in the snare of society’s obsessions with looks, try to turn your focus elsewhere.
10 Things you can do instead of hating your body:
1. Accept your body:
Your body is YOUR BODY. It is no one else’s body. Therefore, it looks a little different from everyone else’s bodies. Instead of looking at these differences as “flaws,” shift your thinking and accept them as part of your own personal, unique design.
2. Respect your body:
Your body has one job, and that is to keep you alive. All day long, your heart beats, your lungs breathe, your nerves send impulses, and your organs do their jobs. Your body is in existence to help you survive. It doesn’t deserve to be mistreated. It deserves to be praised.
3. Appreciate your body:
You have legs that allow you to walk, a nose that allows you to smell, eyes that allow you to see, hands that allow you to touch and feel. You can dance and sing and run and swim and laugh and so many other things! None of those things are possible without a body. Instead of focusing on what your body looks like, focus on what it can do and what it does for you and give it some thanks!
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4. Nourish your body:
Your body needs fuel to do everything it does, so give it the nourishment it needs. Food is fuel for our bodies, whether it be for a soccer game or just laying in bed all day. Just for your organs to function and your heart to keep beating, you need to eat! And don’t be afraid to treat yourself, too! Treats are good for the soul!
5. Rest your body:
Your body can do a lot – but your body can’t keep moving nonstop. Your body needs rest, which means taking days off from exercising to just lay on the couch and watch movies. It also means getting enough sleep!
6. Listen to your body:
Your body is smart. Your body knows what it needs and will tell you, so make sure you are paying attention. If you are hungry, that is your body saying it needs more fuel… SO EAT! If you are tired, that is your body saying it needs more rest… SO SLEEP! If your muscles are aching and sore, that is your body saying it needs a break… SO TAKE A DAY OFF! Don’t ignore the signs your body gives you.
7. Compliment your body:
Your body is beautiful and amazing in every way. Instead of pointing out your so-called “flaws,” focus on your favorite features and express your admiration.
8. Embrace your body:
Your body is unique to you, as I mentioned before. There is no need to be ashamed of if or try to hide it. Be confident in who you are and how you were made!
9. Care for your body:
Your body cares a lot about you, so you should care a lot about it. As I have already mentioned, all your body does all day long is try to keep you alive. You need to take care of your body. That means resting it, nourishing it, cleaning it, moving it, and loving it.
10. Love your body:
Your body deserves to be loved, not only by others but also by you. Self-love is the best love, so love yourself!