If your inner voice bad-mouths your body as soon as you start stripping off, look in the mirror, choose a feature and remind yourself of what it allows you to do. Y’know, like thanking your arms for carrying your children and hugging loved ones. It might feel weird at first, but studies have shown that adopting a ‘gratitude attitude’ may be linked to improved wellbeing and physical health. So it’s time to make friends with your body.
Don’t spiral into a vortex of guilt for failing to love your figure. In fact, a body-positive mindset can feel so unattainable that we dismiss optimistic self-talk entirely. Instead, when you have a disapproving thought, try replacing it with something that’s going to benefit you, such as which massage treatment you’ll book post-beach.
Reality-check time! We tend to believe that more people notice our appearance than actually do. It’s what experts call the ‘spotlight effect’. One way to switch off the spotlight is to try applying a ‘flow’ distraction technique, such as being absorbed in sudoku, or stuck into a juicy novel. You’ll be so focused, there’ll be little room for anxious thoughts.
We all know scrolling through flawless images on social media can make us feel inadequate. But it’s also been linked to more serious issues such as depression. Our advice? Unfollow people who encourage you to give too much thought to your body and replace them with cute animals instead. Try Teddy the Shetland (@teddytheshetland) – he’s refreshingly unconcerned with his beach bod.
If all else fails, spending time among nature can seriously up our body-appreciation factor. Experts believe it may be because we’re distanced from appearance-focused situations. Plus, being outdoors usually means we’re doing activities that rely on our bod’s functionality, not its aesthetics. Yes, Mother (Nature) really does know best.