How do you feel when you see yourself in the mirror? Do you feel unhappy or wish your arms or tummy looked different? You’re not alone. One study found that 20 to 40 percent of women experience body dissatisfaction, and 10 to 30 percent of men feel the same. Getting comfortable in your own skin can be difficult, but it’s worth it. So today, we’ll share several tips to help you start loving your body a little bit better.

Recognize you want to change.

The first step to improving how you feel about your body image is to recognize you want to change it. You need to acknowledge you have a not-so-positive relationship with your body and are ready to turn that around. From there, it’ll be easier to make impactful ways to have a healthier relationship with your body.

Stop judging other people’s bodies.

When you’re hyper-critical about your body, you’ll likely feel the same way about other people’s bodies too. But this has to stop. To learn to love your body, you need to get rid of the mindset that physical appearances are a valid or the only measure of people’s value. You deserve to be loved in your exact body, and so does everyone else. 

Be careful about who you follow on social media. 

You might think it’s harmless to follow super-skinny models & celebrities on Instagram. But studies have linked being exposed to media that show unrealistic body types to lower body image. Take better control of images that you feed into your brain. 

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Curate your social media feeds. Look at the accounts you follow. Do they make you feel empowered? If not, hit that unfollow button and find better role models. It’s better to follow accounts with the same bodies or health goals as yours. You can also look into influencers who promote body love and body positivity. 

Dress your body affectionately. 

When we feel insecure about our bodies, we tend to dress in a way that covers the areas that we don’t want people to notice. The problem, however, is this further promotes shame & negativity around our bodies. 

You can combat that habit by being more intentional and attentive when dressing up or shopping for new clothes. Buy items that make you feel good about your body. Check out stylish plus-size clothes that allow you to highlight your curves confidently. Here’s the bottom line: when you treat your body as something worthy of attention & affection, you send the message to yourself & others that it’s a body to be loved. 

Improve your relationship with exercise. 

Regular exercise helps increase your energy, reduce stress, and keep your body healthy. But when you look at working out as merely a tool for losing weight or shaping your body, you turn something nourishing into something hurtful or dreadful. Instead of feeling excited about working out & getting healthy, you may dread doing it.

Change your perspective on exercise. Frame it as something you do to move your body and feel happy. Do you enjoy dancing? Try PlyoJam exercises and other fun dance workouts on YouTube. Don’t push yourself to do the popular ab exercises on Instagram or those lose-10-pounds-in-a-week challenges if they only make you feel bad about your body. Once you get a healthy relationship with exercise, you will look forward to it every day. That can help you feel more confident about your body.

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Promote body neutrality.

If thinking positive thoughts about your body feels inauthentic, that’s OK. You don’t have to force yourself to embrace body positivity—start with body neutrality instead. 

For example, if it’s not believable to tell yourself that you have a beautiful tummy, you can say this instead: “This is a human stomach.” Practice that thought every time you look at it or complain about it. When you think about your body in a more neutral way rather than negative, it will be your default thoughts over time, and it’ll be easier for you to jump to having a body-positive mindset.