Loving Your Body

How often have you looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “I need to change this” “I don’t like this” or “Why can’t I look like this instead?”  Trust me – you are not alone!

Especially during my middle school and high school years, I was completely obsessed with how I looked and wished I could change certain things about myself.  It got to the point that I was so critical of myself, I couldn’t stand to look at myself and lost all sense of what I truly looked like.  My therapist diagnosed me with body dysmorphia and gave me some tips to love myself – “flaws” and all!  Here are just some of the helpful tips she has had me working on over the past few years.

  • Avoid constantly weighing yourself – weight fluctuates so much throughout the day and chances are if you don’t step on the scale, you would not “see” the weight fluctuations when looking at yourself
  • Pick out pieces of yourself that you truly love – even focusing on seemingly simple things like eye color, smile, and dimples can boost self-confidence and image.
  • Imagine when you’re looking at yourself that you are seeing a stranger – oftentimes the things that we criticize about ourselves we wouldn’t criticize if a stranger had them, in fact, we may find the same features flattering on a stranger.
  • Be kind to yourself! Self-love takes WORK, but it is so worth it.  Everyone has days that they feel down, but remember one bad day does not define who you are as a person.  A positive attitude can go a very long way.

*This advice is solely meant as helpful tips and does not replace seeking a health care professional.  Please, see a mental health professional if you are experiencing similar issues.*

Although I still struggle with body image and body dysmorphia, pairing these tips with consistent therapy has worked wonders in my life. Now, I am able to recognize that even if I have bad days there is no reason tomorrow can’t be a better day. No one is perfect, but find comfort in being perfectly imperfect.

Have you experienced distortions of how you look? Do you have any tips to enable self-love in this regard? Why do you think body dysmorphia is a common experience?

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