Most of us mere mortals have had a love-hate relationship with our own self-perception. It’s no wonder when you take into account all the impossible ideals imposed on us by the beauty and fashion industry, the insane Instagram-filtered culture and our own insecurities. Sometimes it’s a miracle we cope at all. However, if and when we recognize a problem of self-worth, it’s not to be taken lightly.

No matter how much the world is changing for the better by embracing more diversity, body positivity, and an all-natural appearance (yes, even on Instagram), we still have a baggage of personal preferences, issues, scars and traumas to tackle when we want to change for the better. It’s important to recognize that this is a journey and a mindset, and not a collection of one-off actions. It takes true dedication and a will to love oneself, and rest assured, no matter how you see yourself now and what you dislike about yourself – you deserve all the love you can give yourself.

The art of gratefulness

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We spend hours every day admiring others for how they look and what they do, but very little of our time and thought goes to appreciating ourselves and what we have. How often do you stop to think how great it is to have a loving family, a quirky best friend and a roaring laugh that makes everyone join in? When you focus on the good, you let yourself be grateful for your own two feet, hands, eyes, or whatever it is that we always take for granted.

It’s a great starting point to strive towards a deeper realization of just how incredible you are. Turn it into an exercise by writing down three things you’re grateful for every day, and make at least one of them about yourself, your appearance or your body. By drawing your own attention to the qualities you already have, you’ll learn to enjoy being you.

Health over appearance

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Being active online comes with many perks, such as staying in touch with your loved ones who live far away and getting inspired by your role models. However, we also end up focusing on the wrong side of the self-spectrum: how we look instead of how we feel. The two are intertwined, inextricably so, but if you choose to only focus on your shell, you may end up neglecting your substance, or all the things that make you truly beautiful, charming, and sexy.

If you’re struggling to lose weight, focus on the health benefits of what your new healthy habit may bring – from lowering the risk of numerous diseases and a stronger, healthier heart all the way to more endurance and more energy. Of course, keep track of your progress and you’ll quickly start to appreciate what your body can do and how it feels, and not just what it looks like.

Pampering yourself

While it’s essential to look inward and treat the cause and not just the consequence of your emotional roller coaster, you should also take your time to indulge in some self-care and pampering. In countries such as Australia, there’s a culture that encourages and empowers self-love through change, both physical and psychological, and they flourish with diverse options to achieve self-fulfillment.

So, why not learn from them? Certain procedures such as laser fat reduction in Sydney and other larger cities have become more popular due to their effectiveness and ability to help you achieve your goals faster, without any invasive surgery. It’s your body, and if such a move would only inspire you to make better choices and cherish your body down the road, why the hell not? And remember, it’s always wise to consult your doctor to get informed and make the best possible choice for you and your wellbeing.

Shifting from negative to positive

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You need to know yourself to love yourself. Yet, most of us spend our days with our heads turning into a beehive of random thoughts, most of which end up being self-criticism and uncontrolled negativity. While you cannot expect yourself to instantly become the supreme overlord of your own emotions and inner life, you can always do your best to catch yourself in the act of unnecessary self-reproach and then turn the tables on yourself.

Take a moment to slow your thoughts down, analyze them, acknowledge them, and replace them with a truthful but positive statement about yourself. In time, you’ll learn that all those random “I have my thighs” and “My hair is so dry” can easily be replaced by “But I love my smile” or “I love my lips”. You’re only one thought away from greater self-love, and as we know all too well, every journey starts with a single step – take it and free yourself from negative self-perception in order to appreciate who you are, your body included.

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