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How to be less body conscious

2012-06-07 12:13:15

Published on 2012-06-07 12:13:15

A recent survey by the mental health charity Mind found that more than half of the women surveyed are too embarrassed about their bodies to exercise in public. Such findings highlight the growing problem of low body confidence and self esteem amongst women in the UK. Whether you’re taking exercise, having a massage, or wearing a bikini on holiday, it’s possible some of these activities can cause self consciousness about your body.

While avoiding situations where you bare your body has become a common strategy for women, such an approach isn’t a long term or a healthy solution - ruling out activities that are fun and relaxing saps enjoyment and quality from your life. So how do you get past body consciousness and dare to go bare with confidence? Here are my tips:

Focus on how your body feels

Most of the activities that require you to shed some or all of your clothes have the ability to make you feel good – whether you’re enjoying the warmth of the sun on your skin, the touches of a wonderful massage or a surge of endorphins from exercise. Focussing on bodily sensations makes you aware of the here and now, and able to appreciate that your body is much more than something merely to be looked at.

Know your own body

Body consciousness can stem from comparisons with external ideals, such as unrealistic media images. Individuals come in different shapes and sizes, so there really is no standard ideal to conform to, only what is natural and right for you. Get to know your body - tune into how it feels and learn what’s right for you. When you don’t feel yourself, whether due to lack of energy, low mood, or carrying more weight than is usual for you, figure out what your body needs: rest, exercise, water, variation in diet? Knowing your body allows you to monitor its well-being, ensuring it is healthy and cared for, inside and out.




Body conscious woman

Treat your body with love

When you don’t feel good about your body, it’s more likely that you’ll neglect it, as you don’t think it’s worthy of attention or love. Ironically, when you treat your body with respect and love, you begin to love it more. So do whatever you think shows your body love: have a massage, feed your body wholesome food or take a long bath.

Identify what you like about your body

We spend so much time focussing on things that we don’t like, that we don’t ever ask – what do I like about my body? Each time you see yourself in the mirror, identify something that you do like – doing this daily helps to drown out the negative thoughts, giving you a healthier perspective on your body.

Our bodies are to be celebrated, loved and enjoyed, so dare to go bare!

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