Surprising but true: just a few short minutes nourishing your physical self can equal major benefits for your mind and spirit. Here’s how to get comfortable (really comfy) in your own skin
hHere’s an idea: there is no correlation between the size of our thighs and our selfworth. Obvious, right? Well, it’s important to keep in mind because some of us can be pretty tough on our bodies. But there’s a shift happening – and it’s towards body love.
The proof? A new study, presented at an American Psychological Association convention, found that over the past three decades, women’s feelings of body dissatisfaction have fallen more than 28 per cent. Researchers say this reflects a positive change around body acceptance and body diversity. This change in attitude has also made its way onto social media, in the form of women proudly posting stretch mark selfies rather than airbrushed perfection. Actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence are also openly refusing to starve themselves to conform to Hollywood’s body ideals, while singers (thank you, Pink) are standing up for a more diverse range of the body beautiful.
Another sign we’re happier with our bods? The word ‘strong’ has begun to replace ‘thin’ as the most ticked in our body vocabulary. And, when asked in a recent Women’s Health poll, readers said they wanted to see words like ‘strong’ and ‘toned’ rather than ‘ripped’.
Many experts believe that loving the skin we’re in begins in the bathroom. “Routinely caring for our skin sends a message to our brains that we care about ourselves, which contributes to greater body acceptance,” says psychologist Dr Vivian Diller, author of Face It. “There is research showing that people who pay attention to themselves can improve their attitude and therefore their health. The healthier and happier we are, the more confident we feel.” Makes sense!
Ready for self-love? Here are four rituals that will benefit your body, inside and out.