In the United States, there is an unhealthy obsession with our appearance and looking young. We strive for a standard of beauty that is computer-generated and only loosely based on real human beings—a standard that literally does not exist. We know this, yet it has permeated the deepest part of our minds and we obsess over every imperfection. Being attractive and thin is highly valued and you are seen as being ‘’better.’’ Having traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, I see they have their own issues when it comes to preferred appearances —here, pale skin is highly prized because it is seen as more beautiful; dark skin means you are poor and labor in the fields all day. The people who appear in commercials, advertisements and movies are so light-skinned, they almost look caucasian. It can be 100 degrees outside and you see people in sweatshirts, gloves, stockings and all sorts of face coverings, not letting one bit of skin be exposed to sunlight—I feel like I could have heatstroke just looking at them.
We are human and we tend to give too much attention to the things we do not like and even the least vain of us want to be attractive and feel good about our bodies so it is understandable to feel self-conscious about certain things or to want certain things to be different. But, one thing I have learned is that since these issues cause us so much emotional turmoil, we greatly overestimate how happy we would be if they were to get fixed. I have a ways to go, but in my personal development work, I have learned a few things that have helped me love my body more, which has brought me greater peace.
Appreciate the Wonders of Your Body and Be Grateful We take our body for granted, it is just there, but when you really stop to think about all the things it does, it is truly astounding. All the intricate functions, the legs that bring you where you need to go, the eyes that allow you to see so many amazing things. When you learn to really develop an appreciation for your body, you will be much less critical of it and what you perceive to be ‘’flaws.’’ I promise you that if you woke up tomorrow suddenly paralyzed, the cellulite on your thighs would be a non-issue; the trick is we need to work on adopting that mindset without being forced to.
Focus on What Like, Not What You Lack No matter how many thing you think are ‘’wrong’’ with your body, there is plenty that is right with it. We have the bad habit of always looking at what is bad and what is wrong with everything instead of what is good and right. What do you like about your body? Maybe you have beautiful blue eyes, great boobs or beautiful skin. Life is all about perspective and while you may never fully love yourself 100 percent all the time, giving more conscious thought to what you like about yourself will make you feel better and you will be more accepting of your flaws.
Take Good Care of Yourself Your body is good to you and you should be good to it. Taking good care of your body will not only help you feel better physically, you will feel better mentally and emotionally. When you feel better and feel healthier, you will see your body in a different light, a less critical one.
Change Your Inner Dialogue The thoughts we think all day long and our inner dialogue set the stage for everything that happens on the outside. Chances are, you are criticizing yourself all day long. You look in the mirror and you run a silent list of what you do not like and how you would change it. Then you feel like crap; all of this actually makes your physical appearance seem worse. Think about it—one day you think you look good and one day you think you look bad, but you look exactly the same each day, but you see a difference. If you look the same, what is it? It is your mind and what you are feeding it. Shut off the inner critic; focus on something you like.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about personal development and ways to be happier. Loving your wardrobe certainly cannot hurt your efforts to feel better about how you look; check out Supre.com for dresses and other fashionable clothing.
If you are aware of any health problem which may compromise your general health, it is important to seek treatment. A Health and Wellness Counselor may help you, to bring you back in balance and to good health through, detoxing, healthy eating and living, create a proper diet suited for your condition, advise natural remedies, herbs, wholefood supplements and organic cosmetics.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !