How to Stop Hating Your Body

The real causes of the problem are not overweight or stooped back. It’s much more complicated. In this article, we talk about relationships with ourselves and others. 

Where does the hatred for your body come from?

Studies show that men work more on their appearance than women. 70% of women and 63% of men in Russia are ashamed of their appearance. This discontent can be of varying degrees. Some generally like themselves but would not refuse to have a smaller nose and longer legs in moments of sadness. And someone comes to despair every time they look in the mirror, refuses to be photographed, and is subject to constant panic because of the inconsistency of their appearance with ideals.

The extreme degree of hatred for your body is called body dysmorphic disorder. It is a dangerous mental disorder that interferes with a fulfilling life and is associated with a high risk of suicide. About 80% of people with body dysmorphic disorder admit suicidal thoughts. A quarter of them tried to die.

Also read: 5 Ways to Calm Down When Everything Pisses You Off

It can be assumed that the media are to blame for everything, which too actively and categorically broadcast constantly changing standards of beauty. This is true, but only partially. Psychologists agree that hatred of the body is, in a sense, self-hatred. Conflict with your image is always indicative of traumatic relationships with significant people, such as parents.

When a child is born, he has no idea about himself and his appearance. He begins to perceive this through his parents, depending on what they broadcast to him.


Christina Kostikova, psychologist

Several circumstances can lead to a negative perception of the body.

Violent attempts to improve a child’s appearance

The relationship with the body is also influenced by parents’ tactless remarks or comparing a child’s appearance with someone else’s. In their opinion, advice to lose weight or pump up is hidden reproach and rejection.

Lack of emotional support as you grow up

Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences. If the expression of this feeling was forbidden in the family, the parents suppressed the child’s aggression and did not try to understand and help him, and then he will direct anger at himself and his body.

The reason for this aggression is not in the person himself, but somewhere outside, but there it is impossible to express it. And the illusion arises that you are your own enemy and you need to fight with yourself. While it is important to analyze your feelings and find their true reason, and then learn to recognize them and express them appropriately.


Christina Kostikova

Parents’ attitude to their bodies

It is important how adults perceive their bodies, how much they care about it, and how they look after it. If the child sees the parent’s dissatisfaction with his appearance, then he begins to look for flaws in himself – and finds.

How to change your attitude towards the body

A bad attitude towards yourself is not a death sentence. Learn to analyze your emotions and feelings, find their true causes, and ways to express themselves sustainably rather than suppress them. It is important to think about why this hatred, what you are really unhappy with. Perhaps you think that you hate your body, although, in truth, you need attention, love, warmth, and recognition.

How to Stop Hating Your Body
Image source: Reproduction/Internet

Treat your body with gratitude.

It is the body that connects a person with the outside world. Psychologist Natalya Kuznetsova advises to remember this and write out at least 10 points, for which you are grateful to your physical shell. This can be as simple as eating, sleeping, walking, swimming, or enjoying the sun.

Try not to reject the body, but to treat it as your own home, for which you can do something good, not destructive. Remember that it is you who are the master of your body and only you can decide how to take care of it, how to change and improve it. Criticism narrows horizons, and gratitude, on the contrary, allows us to look at the world around us more broadly.


Natalia Kuznetsova, family psychologist

Make contact with your body.

You perceive the body as your enemy, and it is your friend and ally. But now you have lost contact with him. Try to listen to yourself several times a day to understand how you feel, what you feel, what your body needs, what you think. In the first stages, you can do this literally by an alarm clock. This simple exercise can help you develop a habit of hearing yourself and connecting with your body.

Start an affair with yourself.

Treat yourself as you would treat your beloved. Compliment yourself, praise yourself, and avoid comparisons with others. Take active care of your body: take care of your health, establish a diet, get enough sleep, rest. Stop interacting with toxic people who criticize and devalue. No matter how close they are, communication with them only hurts.

Read also: How to Become a Productivity Monster Using the 90/30 Rule

Eventually, a habit of treating yourself well will form. However, this will require active practice for at least three months.

This requires moral effort, which sometimes is nowhere to be found. Therefore, environmental support is very important here. There must be people around you who are capable of empathy, who will cheer you up during your transformation. If there are no such people, a psychologist will help.


Natalia Koroteeva, psychologist

Think about how to improve your life  

People who hate their bodies often think that if their appearance were their existence would be different. If the biceps were bigger and the waist was narrower, then you wouldn’t have to work at a boring job, and everything would be fine in your personal life. But this is an illusion. To change a life, you need to change it.

Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff

Sources: Life hacker