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5 Simple Practices to Love Your Body, Harnessing the Psychology of Body Acceptance

GentlePaige ReohrComment

Cultivating body love is a way to find more body acceptance, improve body image, and learn how to be comfortable in your own skin.

Read on for 5 science-backed practices that will help you love your body better.

Cultivating body love is a way to find more body acceptance, improve body image, and learn how to be comfortable in your own skin.  #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #bodylove #wellness #gentleisthenewperfect #acceptance

Body love is simply about finding body acceptance, quieting the inner body bully, and truly being comfortable in your own skin.

Grounded in mindful body acceptance and compassion, it’s not about making excuses, giving up, or taking the easy road.

Instead, loving your body is about reframing the conversation about body image.

Flipping the script on the relationship you have with your body, the way you view it, and the ways you talk to yourself throughout the day.

Body love is about squelching the inner body bully, and finding a gentler, kinder, way to be.

Which, interestingly enough, will lead to more health, happiness, and overall well-being.

Not to mention more ease in reaching health goals.

To help you cultivate more body love, we’ve pulled together five research-based, science-backed practices that will help you love your body right now.

But first, a word of caution.

The act of cultivating body love is not about perfection or all-or-nothing thinking.

To practice body love you don’t need to love your body every second of every day.

You’re absolutely allowed to have bad days, or to indulge in occasional moments of negative self-talk moments.

The point isn’t perfection.

The point is to practice.

Practice and the brain changes.

Practice and your the relationship with your body will change.

So ditch perfectionism and all-or-nothing thinking, and let’s get to the practices.

To help you simply and easily get  started, we’ve put together a free, downloadable Simplified Guide to Love Your Body.

Download the Simplified Guide to Body Love

Simplified Guide to Body Love

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    Now, are you ready get to the body love practices? Let’s make it happen!

    5 Science-Backed Practices for Body Love & Body Acceptance

    1 | Gratitude

    Practicing gratitude is an amplifier, meaning, it allows you to enjoy and see all the good, amazing things about your body.

    Intentionally practicing gratitude also increases mindfulness, which, over time, will allow you to appreciate all the good things about your body.

    What it is:

    A practice of noticing the good, in this case, as related to your body.

    What it’s not:

    Starting a gratitude practice doesn’t mean that you can’t have painful or negative thoughts or emotions, that you never have a bad day, or that you never complain.

    How to do it:

    Get specific. For example, find gratitude for the way your heart beats, the way your breath feels going in and out, the way your legs carry you from place to place.

    Once you train your brain to look for the specific, you’ll be amazing at the number of little ways you’ll find gratitude.

    Then write it down. Try starting a body gratitude journaling practice. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for each night. If 3 is too many, start with 1.

    More resources: Using Gratitude When Life Gets Messy tune in

    2. Forgiveness

    Practicing forgiveness is the act of consciously forgiving yourself for past behavior or actions.

    Allowing the past to be in the past, forgiveness means taking healthy responsibility for what’s happened, while creating space for new beginnings in the present moment.

    What it is:

    A practice of forgiving yourself for past behaviors, actions, or experiences related to your body.

    What it’s not:

    Releasing all personal responsibility--you can own your past choices without allowing them to determine your future.

    How to do it:

    Find a quiet space, focus on your breath, and slowly breathe in and out. Actively forgive yourself for whatever behavior or action you’ve been holding onto related to your body.

    More resources: How to Breathe for Body Love tune in

    3. Feel Factor

    Practicing the Feel Factor means reframing the relationship with your body from how it looks, to how it feels.

    What it is:

    Tuning into how your body feels, then engaging in activities that allow your body to feel good.

    What it’s not:

    Obsessing or chasing perfection.

    How to do it:

    Ask yourself this simple question: how does my body feel?

    Then make it specific: How does my body feel before, during, after.

    For example: how does my body feel before, during, and after the third cup of coffee? How does it feel before, during, and after this workout? Before, during, and after this meal?

    Keep asking, listening, and making adjustments. Allow this process to be iterative, creative, and experimental. The more you ask and listen, the more you’ll learn exactly what you need.

    More resources:

    How I Learned to Accept My Body tune in

    Cultivating body love is a way to find more body acceptance, improve body image, and learn how to be comfortable in your own skin.  #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #bodylove #wellness #gentleisthenewperfect #acceptance

    4. Embracing Your Human-ness

    Having compassion for yourself and your body comes with embracing your human-ness.

    As in, knowing that the human body is perfectly imperfect, ever-changing, and not meant to fit an impossible standard of perfection.

    What it is:

    Practicing self-compassion by embracing the ideas that human bodies are perfectly imperfect.

    What it’s not:

    The easy way out Showing yourself compassion isn’t going soft or giving up.

    How to do it:

    In moments of body bullying, embrace your human-ness. Know that human bodies are perfectly imperfect, and try to talk to yourself the way you would talk to a loved one.

    Flip the script: reframe the narrative to the way you would talk to a loved one. Be kind. Be on your own side.

    More resources:

    How to Cultivate Self-Compassion tune in

    5. Triggers and Inputs

    Start paying attention to body bullying triggers, and then work to change the inputs.

    What it it:

    Awareness of the inputs that set-off body bullying.

    What it’s not:

    Blaming others (the media, influencers, social media) for the way you feel about your own body.

    How to do it:

    Start paying attention to moments of body bullying and ask: What set this off? Was it putting on a piece of clothing that no longer fits? Scrolling social media? Watching tv?

    Then work on changing the inputs. Change the things you can control. For example: Donate the clothing item that no longer fits. Follow people who inspire you in ways other than their bodies. Watch different shows. You have a lot of choice when it comes to what you consume. Use it.

    Resources:

    How to Nurture Self-Love in the Age of Digital Media tune in

    Start  implementing these practice today with the free, downloadable guide on Practices for Body Love and Body Acceptance.

    Download the Simplified Guide to Body Love