How to Love Your Body Through All Phases of Life
Let’s just admit it. Body love is tough.
It’s easy to point out your own flaws and imperfections. But so much more difficult to find beauty in the face and body staring back at you in the mirror.
We’ve all been there.
Maybe time has taken its toll. Or perhaps you just find it hard to love what you see. Maybe you notice more saggy bits and asymmetrical dimensions. Or maybe you notice wrinkles or other marks of aging that weren’t there before. You can easily list off what you hate about your body but struggle to find parts you love.
But here’s the thing: Your body has done so much for you. It’s more than just a vessel that moves you from A to B. Maybe it’s provided you with beautiful children. Or maybe it’s provided comfort to others.
It’s time we celebrated these facts and started focusing a little less on comparing ourselves to an unattainable ideal. Your body is incredible and beautiful– period.
So, how can you start loving yourself a little more?
How to Love Yourself & Be Confident
With aging, self-love gets a little harder. The body changes through different phases of life. And for some reason, we’ve all got it into our heads that this isn’t okay. But the body is meant to change with time.
Yet, there’s also some other good news that comes with aging. Research shows that self-esteem usually peaks in one’s 50s and 60s. While it very much declines afterward, this sharp reduction in self-esteem is based on your thoughts and what you do.
So, let’s start practicing body love at every age now so that when we get to our later years, we’ll be well-practiced in self-love.
Now, let’s get to it. How can you love yourself?
1. Say “bye-bye” to the narrative that when you look a certain way, you’ll finally be happy
Do you ever think: “When I look a certain way, I’ll be happy?”
There are countless stories about people whose bodies have changed to how they thought they wanted them to look but who go on to feel the exact same way they did before. Plain and simple: How you look won’t make you happy.
Instead, give yourself something better to think about. Ask yourself WHY this would make you happy or WHY you want to look different.
At the end of the day, your physical insecurities are yours only. The people you encounter in life won’t recall your extra wrinkle or age spot, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Remember this.
And while you’re at it, try repeating this self-love affirmation: “I deserve love and happiness in the body I have now.”
You might want to check out: The Benefits of Positive Self-Affirmations
2. Quit the comparison game
Advertising and social media have certainly led many of us astray when it comes to how a body should look. And comparing ourselves is so easy to do!
What social media tells us is the “ideal” is almost impossible to achieve. And this can really mess with your mind.
So, this is your sign to start recognizing when you’re doing it and quit that habit. Unfollow any people on social media that trigger these thoughts. Instead, fill up your feed with others that look like you.
3. Stop judging other people’s bodies
If you’re wondering “how to love yourself more,” consider this–treat people how you would want to be treated and vice versa. The truth is we have no idea what is happening in other people’s lives.
As humans, we have different body types. This is a fact that should be celebrated! Imagine a world if we all appeared the same. Diversity is what makes the world exciting.
And just as health problems or medications can cause your body to appear differently, so can stress. It is natural and completely normal for your body to change in appearance over time as you live life!
And just as you would want to feel supported as your body changes, you can do the same for others. Leave the judging in your past. Instead, let’s celebrate each other together.
4. Place emphasis on how you feel & your health
When it comes down to it, feeling good and obtaining good health should always be #1 in regards to your body. It shouldn’t necessarily be about how you look but rather how you feel and what your body is able to do for you.
If you feel good and are in good health, start loving that body some more! Remember, not everyone is as lucky. Be grateful for what you do have (more on this in a bit).
Make sure to read: How to Love Your Body Right Now
5. Get to know your body better
Look at yourself in the mirror. Take a mirror and check out down there (yes, I’m totally serious). Get to know YOU. When you do, you just might start appreciating it a little more.
In other good news, you’ll also become more in-tune with your body. You’ll know when something feels off and probably why. Instead of going to war together, you and your body will become best friends.
So, check yourself out in that mirror. Love your body for everything it does for you.
Alright, so I know this might come off as a little controversial. However, masturbation shouldn’t be taboo! If anything, it’s a way to love yourself a little more. In fact, the benefits of masturbation include:
- A stronger pelvic floor
- Less pain
- Less cramping
- Stress relief
- Enhanced mood
- Improved libido
- Improved sleep
- And so much more!
Get in touch with your sexual self! It’s powerful, and it’s pleasurable.
Moving your body can help you appreciate it more.
Turn on some music. Let your body move to the beat in whichever way feels right. When you do this, you’re almost giving your body permission to do what it does best– move!
This can also be a great way to release pent-up emotions and just let it all out. Plus, there’s no age limit to grooving and moving. Dancing is for every body.
8. Practice gratitude when it comes to your body
This might feel awkward to practice at first but trust me here.
Before your next shower or bath, stare into the mirror at yourself (no matter how uncomfortable it might feel). You might be tempted to notice your imperfections, signs of aging, or the effect of the pandemic on your body.
Instead, list at least five things you’re grateful for when it comes to your body. They don’t have to be related to your appearance. Consider what your body does for you, the personality traits you love about yourself, or how you made a difference in someone else’s life this week.
The goal here is to simply show it some love and start practicing feeling thankful for your body and yourself. Do this a few times a week and see how you feel.
Practice Makes Perfect, Even With Self-Love
Loving yourself isn’t easy. We all know the deepest darkest parts of our own minds, and it can be really difficult to sway toward the positive. But we are all human. Show yourself some compassion and embrace your body for all that it does.
When you do, you gain even more freedom in your life. Surprisingly, you might be the one holding you back. But practicing a little more body love and appreciating all that you are can help you make strides forward that you never even thought possible.
How will you show yourself some love?
Read next: Guide to Body Positivity: Tips For Body Appreciation