When you look in the mirror, what is the first thing you notice? In all likelihood, it is something you don't like so much. Your "flaws" or the parts you wish to change. Maybe you suck in your stomach or lift your sagging parts but these acts become a ritual. You aren't alone in -- most of us allow these negative thoughts to dictate not only how we view ourselves but how we behave.
These actions and negative self talk are so prominent that we don't even notice them anymore. But our bodies aren't the problem. While getting in shape is certainly a worthwhile pursuit, obsessing about how or why you want to change isn't. The real problem is how your brain translates what it sees and how it relays that message to you!
The Tricks Your Brain Is Playing on You
Without us even noticing, our brains are constantly piecing together a picture based on the clues it receives from our surroundings and our senses. Hormones can influence this picture. After you have sex, oxytocin and dopamine make your partner appear even more beautiful to you, for example. On the flip side, if your ex is dating someone new and you've been creeping her on social media, you will no doubt find her to be less than attractive. Your brain shuffles the image. If you had met her at the office or at a party or in any circumstance where she isn't dating your ex, you'd likely think she's lovely. The point is, your brain is always using context clues and your feelings about things to shape the picture you see.
What We See When We Look in the Mirror
The majority of women have trained their brains to search for and find every single face and figure flaw. Most of us have practiced this since puberty and by the time we reach adulthood, it is so ingrained that we don't even notice that the first thing we do is find fault with ourselves. For some, they have become so skilled at this self-loathing that they truly can't see what others might find beautiful about them.
Just because you have been training your whole life to have a negative body image doesn't mean you are stuck in that space. You trained yourself into it, you can train yourself out of it, too. Here are 8 tips to help you start training your brain to love your body!
[bctt tweet="How To Train Your Brain To Love Your Body"]
1. Look at the positive
When you look in the mirror or at photos, purposefully train yourself to look at the things you like. Linger there. Say nice things about them.
2. Take in the big picture
Let your eyes skim over the rest of your face and body without thinking about what you'd want to change. You're a whole person, not a bunch of parts.
3. Acknowledge you have a choice
Will you occasionally slip into negative thoughts? Of course. But remember, you have a choice. You can fall back into the old pattern or you can choose a new direction.
4. Impress yourself
Do something new at work, kill a workout at the gym, start a new hobby. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you think it is impressive. Focus on what you can do instead of what you look like. (For new and creative workout ideas, check out SweatFlix℠
5. Explore your body
Take time to masturbate. Yes, masturbate. You're worth it. Notice the lines and curves of your body. Touch them. Imagine what a lover sees when they look at you. Use that point of view, or whatever point of view it is that will allow you to admire yourself and know you are beautiful as is.
6. Stop comparing yourself to other women
We are all unique and we all have gifts we can offer in this world. Another woman's beauty or success in life does not take away from your own. Beauty is not a zero-sum game. Noticing that someone else is beautiful does not mean that you are ugly.
7. Remember they are human too
Even the most beautiful, perfect looking woman has a rich emotional landscape not unlike your own. You might think she is beyond insecurities and doubts but she's not.
8. Remember you are undoing a lifetime of training
It won't happen immediately. It will take time. Practice. Be patient with yourself. Have compassion. Keep going.
Do you think these tip are worth a try?