To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romanceOscar Wilde

Everyone, at one time or another, has struggled with their body image. For survivors of childhood sexual abuse, body image issues can slow down the healing process or derail it completely. Although it’s challenging, loving your body is important.

Here are five ways that having a positive relationship with your body can help you on your healing journey:

Focus on what your body can do.
You breathe, move, dance, run, jump, etc. If you’re looking and only seeing faults, focus instead on what your body CAN do. The amazing things that you’re able to do because you have a functioning body.
List the positive.
For every negative thing you say or think about yourself, find two positive things. If you think you have a big nose, make yourself notice that you have beautiful eyes and elegant fingers.
Drop the downers.
If you are around people who are constantly complaining about their looks (or worse, your looks), it might be time to find a better group of people to hang out with. It’s hard to be confident and self-loving when everyone around you is doing the opposite.
Quiet that negative inner voice.
When you look in the mirror you should be able to look at your reflection without a bunch of negative thoughts bumping around in your brain. If you can’t get the negativity to stop, try talking out loud to your reflection. “You’re amazing. You’re beautiful. There’s no one in the world as awesome as you.” Vocalizing positivity may feel a little silly, but it works.
Take a look behind the scenes of media.
A lot of women are influenced by the images and messages that are surrounding us every day on every platform of media. Whether you believe it or not, these can have an impact on your body image. If you see someone and feel a tinge of jealousy or self-loathing, take time to really think through that feeling. Is this image real and untouched? Is it possible that this message is intentionally making you feel bad? Would you feel better about yourself if you ignored it?

Positive body image can have an unbelievable influence across your life. Take one small step today to create a happier, healthier, and more hopeful relationship with your body.

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