The health benefits of learning to love yourself

A new study shows learning to love yourself is about more than just what you see in the mirror.

health, wellness, new you

Photo by Masterfile

Getting old sucks. I hate getting old. God, I’m so old.

A new study published in the Journal of Eating Disorders found that such “old talk” though different from saying to yourself, “I hate this belly fat. Look at this cellulite! My bathroom scale hates me,” is still linked to mental health issues and overall feelings of dissatisfaction.

Whether you hate your body or hate getting old, or both, it’s all about poor body image — and it doesn’t help you.

To be honest, I like getting old. First off, it’s better than the alternative, and at 44 I’m in way better shape than I was 20 years ago. I dig that, but it took a lot of work.

You don’t travel down the path to improving your body by starting off hating it. Poor body image, self-loathing, being unhappy with what you see in the mirror is not a Zen-mindset. First, you need to ditch both the “fat talk” and the “old talk.”

You’re body IS you. It’s your most prized possession (or at least it should be) and it’s home until the day it well, isn’t. Don’t disparage it, because it doesn’t motivate you to be kind to something you loath.

If you look at your body as something you love – that is also a continual work in progress – it’s a far better mental place to be in. Why would you want to put healthy fuel into, and take the time and effort to exercise, a body that you don’t like? Conversely, if you love the entire biological entity that makes up your corporeal existence, no matter how old it is getting or how much it weighs, you’ll be more inclined to treat it better. You’ll want to make the most of it. You’ll desire to improve it.

That’s a Zen mindset. That’s the harmonious path towards healthy living. Love your body, no matter what, and do nice things for it to show how much you care.

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