Compliments: The Key to Better Body Image
Struggling a little with feeling positive about your body?
Have a hard time accepting compliments or thinking well of your body/body parts?
Lots of us do.
One cool practice/mindset shift that has helped me move from picking at my body’s ‘imperfections’ and moving to a place of improved body image and acceptance isn’t about how we view our own bodies at all.
At least not in the beginning 😉
A couple of years ago, I started a practice of thinking more kindly towards and about the people I came into contact with each day.
I think it started with my clients, seeing the beauty, gifts and strengths their bodies possessed that so often they weren’t able to see–at least in the beginning.
Whether it was a great pair of calf muscles, or string shoulders, or hourglass figure, or bright eyes or huge smile, I would notice and name it, to myself AND them.
This carried over into continuing this practice in the general public.
Instead of noticing what someone ‘needed to work on,’ as I had in past years, I would find something beautiful or positive about them: broad shoulders, gorgeous hair, a kind voice….
The immediate result was that I was much nicer and more relaxed running errands, standing in line, etc.
The less obvious outcome (which took me a while to notice myself!) was that I began to think more kindly towards my own body–appreciating its strengths and gifts and paying less attention to (and being more forgiving of) its flaws.
I even started complimenting myself (in my head, anyway) on things like the shape and strength of my legs rather than fixate on the fat and cellulite on my thighs.
I see it’s there–I just don’t give it importance.
The attributes totally outweigh the ‘imperfections.’
Whoa. Who knew being kinder and more accepting of others would cause me to be more kind to and accepting of myself??
I didn’t–at least in the beginning. But I now know that it really works.
If you’re struggling with your own body image, or body appreciation, give this a shot:
–>Find the strengths and beauty in those around you throughout the day. Name their attributes. Tell them if you’re up to it!
–>Keep practicing body appreciation with others, and attribute-naming. Make it a habit–a natural reflex.
–>Then try the same practice with yourself. Notice one positive thing about your body and your person. Name it. Compliment yourself–even if it’s just in your own head 😉
Finding the strong, positive and beautiful in others just might be the key to you being better able to find it in yourself.