Body dysmorphia is a serious and fairly common mental disorder that typically starts during the teen years. People with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) are obsessively preoccupied with an exaggerated or even imagined flaw in their own appearance. BDD severely impairs quality of life, often leading to social isolation. If you're afraid that you might suffer from body dysmorphia, check out our tips for learning to love your body the way it is.
Tip #1. Focus on the way you feel, not on the way you look. Different people have different body types, there is no single standard for everyone. So you shouldn't focus on how your body looks, focus on how it feels instead. If you are healthy and feeling well, your perception of yourself will change. Find the kind of exercise that will help you enjoy your body and reward yourself for taking care of your health rather than punish yourself for unhealthy choices.
Tip #2. Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to other people will never do you any good because everyone is different and no one is perfect. A lot of women fixate on skinny celebrities, which makes their self-esteem drop drastically. Don't forget that most beauty pageant contestants and fashion models are unnaturally and unhealthy thin. Instead of comparing yourself to skinny models, search for the inspiring stories of successful women who love the body they have.
Tip #3. Dress the body you have now. Do you still have clothes that don't fit you anymore, hoping that they will fit you again some day? If so, throw them away or donate them to a charity of your choice. And stop buying clothes that are too small or too large as a motivation to lose/gain some weight. Dress the body you have now and buy clothes that make you feel comfortable and at ease.
Tip #4. Respect other people's bodies. How can you love your body if you don't respect other people's bodies? Remember that body shaming is a no-no, you should honor every physique even if it doesn't correspond to your idea of beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. If you are paying too much attention to other people's flaws, then you are simply projecting your own insecurities.
Tip #5. Focus on your assets. Your body doesn't define you. Everyone has good qualities that make them likeable. Make a list of your best qualities and re-read it whenever you feel dissatisfied with your body shape. People tend to overestimate the value of their appearance and underestimate the importance of their personality. Don't make this mistake.
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