Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Once you’ve learned to accept yourself—“flaws” and all, then you’ll be a much happier and confident person.

A lot of people suffer from distorted body images; they don’t see themselves rather realistically. There isn’t anyone who is perfect, the key to living happy is to just love who you are. Here are some ways to change how you feel towards your own body and start appreciating it instead.

1. Stop putting yourself down.

If you’re constantly putting negative thoughts in your mind about how you look—about how fat you are, or how small your breasts are, or how big your tummy is, then you’re psyche will believe it and you will feel sad about it. Put a stop to this negative habit. Criticizing one’s self is good but never be too hard on yourself either.

2. Don’t get fixated on skinny celebrities

When you are looking at TV ads, fashion magazines etc and you’re thinking how come those models can get so thin and you’re not, well, just remember that it’s those models job to be unnaturally thin, lest the clothes they’re modelling not fit them. Plus, your goal is not to be thin, but to be healthy.

3. Focus on how your body feels

Do the things that make you and your body happy. Go try yoga, or jog, walk your dog at night—anything that will take your mind off from stressing over your self-image too much.

4. List your best assets and use it to your advantage

List 5-10 of your good qualities on a piece of paper. You may do this alone or ask the people who you think know you real good to help you come up with that list. That list is going to be your “feel good” list. You may be a “good friend”, you may be smart, or with a great sense of humor etc. Keep in mind that having good looks and a fine body is not the be-all-end –all of things. There is more to you beyond the superficiality of physical looks.

5. Do not put what you love into the sidelines

This means not having what you love to do wait on the sides. Life is short—people should take opportunities to enjoy it while they can. Write down your goals on a piece of paper and start creating plans on how you can make those happen.

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