How Do You Cope When You Think Things Like ‘I Hate My Body’?
Sadly, and unfortunately, sometimes we unexpectedly catch sight of ourselves and find that we don’t really like what we see at the moment. Whether it’s the shape of our nose, our bodies, or hair, unfair body expectations can wear on us and make us feel ugly one day despite feeling beautiful on other days.
Recently, we stumbled across a Reddit post that asked users how they manage to cope when they have negative thoughts about their bodies. Beyond being helpful, the answers were invigorating.
Check them out below.
Try saying three nice things about yourself each day.
“I look in the mirror and don’t look away until I say 3 nice things I like about my body. Eventually, it became second nature and now I’m vain af.” –not_doing_that
“Ummm… this may not be helpful to you. But to be totally honest with you, what’s helped me more than any sort of self-love type of approach was just realizing that, to be blunt, I have two options: I can either change what I dislike or else accept that it doesn’t matter. I spent years working on my physical self-esteem with, honestly, limited success. At some point, though, I realized that it doesn’t actually matter. I’m not important; details about my appearance are even less important; and me spending time agonizing over it is a pointless self-indulgence. The more I thought about that, the more I found it to be kind of liberating. I’m one person in six billion. Nobody cares about my looks or my self-image but me, and I have other things more worth my time worrying about. I’ve changed a few things I didn’t like. I fixed my teeth, for instance, and I get some Botox and fillers these days. The rest of it, it’s just like… meh, time to move on. I still have my insecurities for sure, but I no longer wallow in them the way I did.” – user
Think of your future self.
“Two things I have adopted in all the many many years of abysmal body image and eating disorders and all that shit:
- Remember nobody notices/cares about my “flaws” as much as I do. I am literally deciding their importance. So instead of saying “ugh I’ve got rolls when I sit/my thighs touch because I’m lazy and disgusting and nobody will ever love me,” I can instead start saying “I have rolls when I sit because I have fat in my stomach, which is necessary for my body to function correctly. My thighs touch because that is how my legs look when I am at a healthy weight.” etc etc and then it goes from an assignment of value to just an objective fact about me, like my blood type or my shoe size.
- Remember that when I am 80 I am not going to lose sleep over not being 10 lbs lighter or two inches taller or blessed with a nicer bum. I’d be far more likely to regret a pattern of avoiding social situations because I don’t feel pretty enough, or to regret not having many pictures with my loved ones who are gone because my hair was messy or I wasn’t wearing a flattering outfit. Like, I never look at photos of my loved ones and think “damn, she should have avoided the camera, she looks bloated and tired.” I’m like “Oh I remember that trip to visit my auntie, and how good her cooking was, and how cool it was to learn that she loved the same author I did and that conversation we had when I couldn’t sleep and she told me about being my age and I realized she understood me…”
I frequently have to check myself to make sure I’m focusing on the shit that matters and not hiding who I am just because I don’t think the package I come in measures up.” – glorioid
Work hard on making yourself feel happy with yourself in the ways that you can healthily control.
“I’m heavier than I ever was when I hated my looks. These days I think I’m pretty fab, I work hard to be a pretty cool person, and I work reasonably hard to look good and stay in decent shape. I’m nowhere near physically perfect, but I love myself holistically and I figure life is way too short not to eat chocolate, put my butt on display in a pencil dress, and any number of other things my 18-year-old twig of a self would have been mortified about. Turns out there’s more to life than obsessing about how I look in a negative way. If I’m going to obsess about how I look, I at least try and do it in a positive way now. I also realized that if you’re a healthy weight, confident, and well dressed, you’re basically going to be attractive. Perfect is not a requirement in any other area of life so there’s no point making it one of my own.” – grittex
“I remind myself of how incredible the human body is and try to think of the amazing things my body does to keep me alive and let me enjoy the world. Who cares if I don’t look like a model? My heart pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood every day and my bones are as strong as granite. How cool is that? Also, I try to remember that I don’t owe the world attractiveness for daring to exist. It’s not my job to be visually pleasing.” – tomorrowistomato
“It depends on how I hate it. If it’s something about my body screwing up (getting sick, tripping and breaking something, not being tall enough to reach something) I sulk and get over it. I’m lucky enough that my body is mostly healthy (no chronic illnesses to deal with, or things like that) and I have to accept that sometimes it’s not going to cooperate. But when it comes to appearance: I try to remind myself that my looks are just one part of me. I step away from the mirror. I focus on some aspect of my looks that I can control (maybe my face is covered in acne, but I can put my frizzy hair in bun to manage that issue) and ideally try to remember the things I like about my body. While it’s not uncommon for me to look into the mirror and frown at how gross I look (the scowl really doesn’t help), it personally only bothers me for as long as I’m looking at it. So I usually try to make it look a bit better (brush my hair, do makeup, etc.) if I can, or else I just try to focus on something else. I have ADD though, so my attention span doesn’t usually allow me to dwell on it any longer than 2 minutes after I finish looking in the mirror.” –BundleofAnxiety
“I stopped judging other people. I grew up in a very judgmental family, struggled with an eating disorder for years, and constantly compared myself to others or even silently picked out things on other people I didn’t like to try to make myself feel better. As soon as I stopped doing that, I felt infinitely better. Instead of thinking “wow, that shirt/dress etc are too for him/her” I thought ” wow, they look good in that color” or “props to them for wearing something they’re told they ‘shouldn’t'”. When I made that change it became easier to apply that same way of thinking to myself.” –hanchan21
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