Yes we all have them and they may be a part of life, but body hang-ups are never fun. Although it’s easy to feel self-conscious about aspects of yourself that you deem less than perfect, it’s important to accept your body as much as you can. Why? You’ll live a much happier life when you’re not constantly worried and upset about the way that you look.
We spoke to body positivity experts and Keep It Cleaner founders Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw for their tips on feeling good about yourself no matter what! It’s time to get rid of your body hang-ups once and for all because life is too short, and hey, we’d much rather spend it travelling.
Train your mind to think positively about yourself
This may sound tough to do when you’re caught in a negative spiral but Laura Henshaw, co-founder of Keep it Cleaner has some tips for turning things around. “Try writing down three physical and three non physical things you love about yourself and stick it next to your bed, in your bathroom or a place you look at everyday. Repeat them to yourself in front of the mirror every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep.”
This simple trick will teach you to focus on the amazing things about yourself and even if it feels forced at first, it will quickly become natural. “Focus on these positive thoughts instead of any negative ones you have about yourself. Do this everyday until it becomes second nature to you, and you start to look at yourself in a more positive light.” says Henshaw.
Treat yourself like a close friend
You wouldn’t tell your best friend that she was fat and ugly would you? Right, you wouldn’t, so why would you do that to yourself? “Unfortunately our minds are naturally inclined to think negatively towards ourselves but it doesn’t have to be that way.” says Steph Claire Smith, co-founder of Keep it Cleaner and model. “I’ve tried to teach myself to compliment myself or see the positives in myself like I would a close friend.”
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Clean up your social media
Social media is amazing for checking out the latest travel destinations or scrolling through updates from your friends, but less so when the accounts you follow are making you feel bad about yourself. “I used to spend hours a day subconsciously scrolling through Instagram looking at images of the ‘perfect’ body.” says Henshaw, something that may seem all too familiar.
“As humans we compare ourselves to others and this can be really dangerous for our self esteem. What really helped me was cleaning up my social media and unfollowing any accounts that made me feel negatively about myself.” Get rid of any account on your feed that makes you feel less than beautiful, because life is way too short to be brought down by Instagram.
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Lose that aim to feel 'perfect'
Not only does ‘perfect’ not really exist, aspiring for this unacheivable goal is only setting yourself up for failure. In fact, “nobody feels perfect” says Smith. “It’s okay to not feel like a million bucks, we’re all human and we all have those days or those insecurities- but try and focus on all the awesome stuff you can do because of your incredible body like walk, run, dance, sing”. Your body allows you to do a tonne of amazing things and you should be thankful for that each and every day, instead of hating on it.
Start working on healthy habits
There are times where we definitely don’t feel at our peak and that’s okay, but if you’re not happy with your body and aren’t prioritising eating well and maintaining an exercise routine, trying to incorporate healthy habits in to your life is a great way to turn things around. “Instead of feeling down and out about yourself, get back in control.” says Smith. We all have times where we fall out of routine but if you can get back on track, you will likely start feeling more positively about the body you’re in. “Look after your body from the inside out and it will thank you. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll feel a lot better for it” says Smith.
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