On the journey of mortality we call life, we fixate on our physical being. While some of this is to our benefit, it can easily in this hypercritical world be to our detriment. For those fixating unhealthily on their bodies, not honoring the transient temples that they are, here are 6 ways to improve how we see our physical selves:
1. Spend less time in front of the mirror
It’s never good to admire ourselves too much or too little, and reducing the amount of time spent in literal self-scrutiny is better for balanced self-appreciation. A simple way to do this is make mirror time for essentials, with a permitted, small extra amount (on the order of 10-15 minutes) for primping - and not more.
2. Stop wearing makeup
To many this will sound like sacrilege. Society has spoon fed us the imperative of looking younger and better through makeup since birth, mainly to women, so who would dare challenge such a cardinal decree in the global manual on beauty? But no matter the current dogma on makeup, at the end it is only a mask - one that many wear by necessity not choice because they don’t feel good about themselves without it. It’s important to try liberating ourselves from habits which mask our true selves, no matter how pretty and fun they may appear on the surface. We cannot achieve true self-appreciation if the only self we feel comfortable projecting is a fully masked one.
3. Ingest well
This one is so simple, it’s the hardest. What goes in is what you become. That goes for food, content, drugs, alcohol, anything we ingest. Self-appreciation is enhanced by feeling good physically and to feel good physically we must nourish our mind, body, and souls well.
Another straightforward recommendation. The body is meant to move. When it doesn’t, issues crop up over time. These issues coalesce into greater and greater problems. Self-appreciation is enhanced by being feeling medically well, healthy and symptom-free, and this comes from daily movement which helps prevent illness.
5. Stop social media
Sacrilege #2. Social media, just like makeup, appears to have its perceived benefits, which we by and large don’t question. But social media is predicated on pushing us to compare ourselves to others with external standards. With social media, we are constantly trying to find and post our best angle to the world. When there is a discrepancy between our authentic and our shown selves, we never feel whole.
6. Embrace mortality
Mortality is decline. And everything we do to preserve our physicality is only temporary. It’s key to gain perspective on why we’re truly here, the spiritual mission of our life, and mortality reinforces that. Yes, we should indeed aim to optimize the physical as best as we can for as long as we’re able, but if we understand decline will come, we’re more realistic and forgiving of our physical imperfections and challenges.