As the mercury rises, it’s difficult to avoid thinking about how you will look in shorts, sun dresses and even a sexy one-piece swimsuit. That sun-time fun also signals exposure to the gaze of others—and that can lead to feelings of self-consciousness as you scrutinize your body. But before you can benefit from diet and exercise to address those misgivings, improve your odds of succeeding by engaging in these body gratitude and self-acceptance tips.
Celebrate your body
Focus on all the wonders of your body—how it operates (e.g., fitness, health, vitality)
and functions—more than on what it looks like. And give thanks for both. Emphasize
and admire your best features rather than any perceived flaws as you cultivate body
love and appreciation.
Honor your body
Listen and attend to the needs of your body. Demonstrate affection and care for your
body by getting sufficient rest, eating healthy foods, finding ways to avoid and relieve
stress and making sure to get medical help if the need arises. The interconnectedness
of mind, body and spirit also requires that you envision your body through the eyes of
God, your Creator or Higher Power as an amazing creation, in which its physical
appearance is transformed through the peace and joy of the spirit that dwells within.
Embrace your uniqueness
Stay ever mindful of inappropriate body and appearance messages from the media and
others. Reject remarks and comments related to unchangeable features, and stay in the
company of those who demonstrate acceptance of you. Work especially on altering
old meanings of beauty or attractiveness, and replace them with your personal beliefs.
Remember that beauty or “good looks” are relative and subjective. There is simply no
singular meaning of beauty, so avoid comparing yourself to others.
With all this in mind, put on your shorts, dresses and sexy swimsuits and stand
confidently, knowing that the beauty and light you see within will be what’s reflected
to the world.
Words: Shanette M. Harris, Ph.D.