Life is just better when you feel good about yourself. Our sexual health columnist explains how to gain freedom through accepting your body, one beautiful bit at a time.
How comfortable are you with your body? How about your naked body? Do you dread the inexplicable overhead lighting that is present in every women’s dressing room? (WHY?!?!?) There must be a reason that one of the most common nightmares reported is being in front of a crowd naked. Being naked leaves us in our most vulnerable state. Nothing to cover up with, nowhere to hide.
As we come upon the beginning of summer; pools, BBQs, daisy dukes, and bikini waxes, we are forced to confront our comfort level of being exposed, physically. After spending the winter hibernating and indulging in junk food during our Netflix binge sessions, summer can be terrifying. But what would happen if you could love and accept your body at any weight? What would happen if you could love every inch of your naked body?
Accepting our bodies and feeling confident naked can have so many positive effects on our lives.
- Set the tone for a great day!
Being able to look yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning can set the tone for how the rest of your day goes. If you begin the day staring at all your flaws and belittling yourself, you are most likely going to carry that around with you for the rest of the day. Being able to walk into a room with your head held high, feeling really good about yourself allows you to go through your day with a positive outlook, making day-to-day challenges easier to handle.
- Improve your relationships!
Research shows that those who have positive body image and self-confidence tend to surround themselves with other positive, motivating people. Having people around you that celebrate themselves and uplift you sounds a hell of a lot better than spending time with a group of people that call themselves fat and ugly all the time. Negative energy can be contagious. Remember: “You’re only as good as the company you keep” .
- Improve your sex life!
Whether you are in a new relationship, casually dating or have been married for 15 years, we all have that moment where we feel a little self-conscious about getting naked in front of our partner. Nothing is more of a buzz kill than being distracted by that negative self-talk reminding you of the cellulite on your thighs or that roll on your stomach. Being able to embrace and accept our bodies exactly as they are, allows us to be more present in the moment. When we are present during sex we have the ability to fully focus on all of the physical sensations that we’re experiencing and focus on the connection with our partners (and/ or ourselves!) and the pleasure we are receiving.
Try This At Home:
Find a quiet time when you will have 10 minutes without interruption.
Stand in front of a full-length mirror. The goal is to be naked during this exercise, but this may not be possible for some people. Feel free, when you’re starting out, to complete this exercise fully clothed or in your bra and underwear.
Slowly, beginning at your feet, scan your body with your eyes.
As you study your body, resist the urge to make any negative judgments.
Then identify things that you like about your body. This may be very difficult when you first try this exercise, but it will get easier with time.
*Positive thoughts about your body can be anything: your skin tone, your freckles, the curve of your back.
Use the full ten minutes if you can, taking time to express gratitude for your body and all it has done for you.
I recommend practicing this every day, but you can start out a few times a week and work your way up to daily practice.
For further information or sex, relationships or body image feel free to contact me through my website.