This month, Libero Network is analyzing our comfort zones. In terms of body image, comfort zones can be a difficult topic.
Should we make ourselves comfortable in order to love our bodies? Or should we break out of our comfort zones to challenge everything we know about how we see ourselves?
I argue we can do both.
In small steps, we can do things to challenge our body positivity in the pursuit of becoming more comfortable in our skin. By expanding the limits of my comfort zones, I have found new ways to appreciate and look past my body. (Remember, body positivity is about loving all of yourself, not just the part you can see.)
Here are three ways I have challenged my ability to feel comfortable with my body.
I am not suggesting these things are easy, as they do take a lot of practice and persistence. But by pushing to see myself as more than just my body, I can expand what it means to be comfortable in my body and life.
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1. Stop untagging yourself.
Your best friend just uploaded a picture of you to Facebook. You see the notification and begin to fret. “Time to do some untagging,” you think. But before you spend time cringing at your appearance, step back.
As you stare at the picture, instead of critiquing your smile, your hair, or the way your jeans fit, think about the person who took the picture. Your best friend obviously didn’t care about these small things. She took and cherished the photo because she thinks you are a wonderful addition to the world. You make other people smile and bring happiness into the room. That picture is a collection of the pixels on a screen, and cannot capture who you are as a person.
Refrain from untagging yourself, close your Facebook page, and become comfortable with the idea that you are more than the body in that picture.
2. Try something new.
The first time I tried yoga, I was a bit nervous. I felt insecure, a little uncomfortable, and unsure of what to expect. But as I began, I realized my body could do some really incredible things. In trying something new, I became comfortable with my own strength.
This does not have to apply to movement-based activities, either. Anytime I learn something new, or change my way of thinking, I find new ways to accept my body and self.
By challenging my limits, physically or mentally, I am forced to become more comfortable with my ability to grow and change.
3. Sit, breathe, and do nothing.
I do not mean scrolling through Twitter or watching Netflix. I mean lying in bed, listening to a favorite album, and breathing. Really, do absolutely nothing.
When I do this, I am forced to sit with my body and feel every aspect of who I am. I find a comfort in my own skin that cannot be found anywhere else. This can be uncomfortable at first; I have a hard time sitting still with nothing to do. But in letting my body simply be, I have come to realize I am more than my body image.
Comfort zones are subjective.
Every individual has their own places where they feel best in their bodies, and maybe these suggestions do not resonate with everyone. For me, however, the realization that my body is not the most important part of my existence has helped me find a constant comfort zone.
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