When it comes to our bodies, I frankly, am sick of tired of the notion of waiting. That notion of until next year, of putting living life off—for when the “ideal” weight is reached, or when those jeans fit you, or whatever concept you’ve bought into about what your body needs to look like before you can enjoy life.
Imagine the time and energy you focus on your body image refocused towards nourishing your relationship with yourself, and your relationship with others and building things you are proud of and focusing on feeling joyful. Imagine how different life would be!
Below I am discussing body acceptance and practices that you can start today—even right now!
What Is Body Acceptance?
What comes to mind when you consider body acceptance?
Many people associate bodily acceptance with l-o-v-e. Looking in the mirror every day at your reflection and thinking “wow, I love everything!” But this is not entirely what it is about (though kudos to you if you’ve gotten to that love space!!) Body acceptance, however, is focused on what is realistic for you and where you’re at on your journey.
Body acceptance is offering your body unconditional respect for what it allows you to do and experience with appreciation and gratefulness while understanding you don’t need to love all of it, all the time. Sometimes, body positivity is not accessible, and that is okay! It’s about coming to terms with f our body and accepting and appreciating it.
It’s important to note that you can absolutely still practice self-care and self improvement while focusing on body acceptance. When you approach your goals with an acceptance-first mindset, you are more likely to reach them because you are being gentle, graceful and patient with your body and your mind.
5 Body Acceptance Practices You Can Try Today
Oftentimes, getting started is the hardest part. So, I’ve curated 5 practices that you can start today:
Grab a pen and paper and write down 5 things about your body that you love & 5 things about your body you are grateful for.
Pick a song that feels fun to dance along to and let loose and dance your heart out. There does not need to be routine or any need for it to look “good” just move your body.
- Relax Consciously
Before going to sleep tonight, practice a short body relaxation practice. Get comfortable in your bed. Then, starting at your feet, relax your body all the way up to your body to your arms, and hands, up past your arms, all the way up your torso, while clenching or squeezing each area on inhale, and relax completely on exhale. Relax, feel your body and unwind before going into a deep sleep.
- Mirror work, option 1
Standing in front of a mirror, say 5 affirmations out loud to yourself in the mirror. I like choosing affirmations to counter my inner critic, such as “I am beautiful and lovable,” or “I am very worthy of receiving love and care from myself and others.”
- Mirror work, option 2
As an acceptance practice, stand in front of the mirror and just observe yourself. Set an intention and focus on “zooming out” and not go straight to your “flaws” but instead see yourself as a whole. Study yourself and practice accepting everything you see, knowing that wishing you looked different doesn’t actually make you feel happier, more at peace, or more fulfilled in your life.
Words, thoughts, and actions matter. By trying these 5 body acceptance practices, they will, over time impact your conscious and unconscious mind to invoke positivity about your body. It can be a long journey to body acceptance, but it is absolutely a worthwhile endeavor.
Author Gabby Jockers is the Mindful Boudoir Photographer and owner of Embodied Art Boudoir, a body positive boudoir studio in Golden, CO just outside Denver. She uses yoga and mindfulness practices to help her clients get out of their heads and into their bodies so they can experience embodied expression, confidence, and self love.
To learn more about Gabby and her approach to boudoir photography, self love, and life, check her out on the website: Embodied Art Boudoir – Denver Boudoir Photography!