Building Body Confidence: Rock Your Birthday Suit!
Building confidence is no cut-and-dry affair. It can take months, even years, to reverse the long-term effects of putting ourselves down and trying to live up to the media’s impossible beauty standards – which are often literally impossible without photoshop and even surgery.
We are bombarded with altered images of perfect bodies on a daily basis, from commercials to social media – and the results? We feel bad about our beautiful, natural bodies.
Sometimes, our self-confidence takes such a hit that we actively avoid being nude, even in our own home.
What if I told you that spending more time in-the-buff would actually work to boost your self-confidence and learn to accept that your body is perfect the way it is?
Even when we do have work to do to improve our health, we must appreciate our bodies and what they do for us. We are so much more than vessels of objectification, and it’s up to us to learn to embrace our physical being with warmth and compassion.
Why We Hide From Our Bodies
It may seem counterintuitive, especially if you feel like your body could use some work. And let’s face it, nobody’s body is perfect – even the perfect ones.
Human bodies are not designed to be perfect. Bodies, like people, are flawed, and it is often the imperfections that provide the most detail and content. Imperfection can be and is beautiful, when we learn to see it that way.
Coming face-to-face with our flaws is definitely not easy. If you feel like your body isn’t even close to how you want it to be, it can feel much easier to hide it behind loose-fitting clothing. When you feel disconnected from and judgmental over your own body, it might be easier to go into a form of hiding – hiding from yourself. It can seem like facing yourself is overwhelming, or if you ignore the problems they don’t really exist.
This is harmful because your body is a gift, and a beautiful gift at that.
Everyone has insecurities about their bodies, no matter what gender or size they are, or from which culture they come. When you let these insecurities dictate your comfort level with your own body, you deprive yourself of the mind-body connection that makes life so enriched and beautiful.
How Nakedness Increases Confidence
While it may seem really uncomfortable at first, spending time in your birthday suit can be one of the easiest ways to increase self-confidence and learn to truly love your body. Nakedness not only helps you face your insecurities but allows you to embrace your body for what it is – protective, reaffirming and live-giving.
Loving who you are requires acknowledging and embracing who you are. And you have to actually look at your body to see it for how elegant it really is.
The idea of simply being naked can be overwhelming, so you might start with baby steps. When you’re in the bath or the shower, try appreciating your body. Look at the arms and legs that take you places, feel the stomach that provides your gut instincts and intuition. Use positive affirmations to reinforce confidence, such as, “I love my body” and “My body is beautiful.”
From there, try to slowly step farther outside of your comfort zone. At first, you might spend more time than usual in-the-buff after bathing or try sleeping naked. You’ll be amazed at the feeling of fresh sheets on your skin. When you’re home alone, try performing your chores in your birthday suit. Suddenly, doing the dishes and folding the laundry is more exciting than ever!
Put your favorite song on and have your own dance competition in your living room, starring yourself as both (kind) judge and contestant. Try to revel in the liberating feeling of being present in your own body and its movements. Accept the physical sensations and sensuality of your powerful body and the way it flows with the rhythm. Ev’Yan Whitney has a wonderful way of tying dance with meditation; as a sex doula and educator, she is a huge proponent of moving meditation.
You might get comfortable and confident enough to start getting ready in the nude. There’s something freeing about starting your day with a celebration of who you are and what your beautiful body does for you. Even something as small as brushing your teeth naked can be a great way to dip your toes into creating a new relationship with your body. Try placing affirmations on and around your mirrors and closets. Find and create new ways to remind yourself that your body is perfect, just as it is.
Eventually, you’ll feel confident enough to even exercise naked or visit a nude beach!
Mind Over Matter
The practice of enjoying nudity and embracing your body might be difficult at first, and your determination will play a large role in how well you learn to love yourself for who you are.
If you can move beyond initial discomfort and put your mind to it, the art of acknowledging and loving your body exactly how it is will become second nature. Mindfulness is a key ingredient in the recipe of body confidence.
So take your clothes off, put your birthday suit on and start loving yourself.
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