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Everyone’s body is beautiful. It’s true: No matter how fervently you wish your body to look like that photoshopped model’s, you must strive to remember that your body is yours, and for that reason alone you should love it, appreciate it, and realize its magnificence.

Still, the road to body positivity is a bumpy one, and if you are just beginning your journey, you shouldn’t be afraid to arm yourself with some tools to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.

With summer just around the corner, you are probably planning at least one beach day to relax and revive your soul ― but if you spend your entire trip worried about your body, you’ll leave more stressed than you started. This guide will help you feel comfortable in your skin, even when you are baring it all on the beach.

Know Your Fit

Swimsuit shopping is a pain for everyone. Not only do swimsuits have a higher likelihood of being uncomfortable ― regardless of their size, style, or material ― but they also tend to be less forgiving of so-called body flaws. It can be excruciatingly demoralizing trying on suit after suit, feeling the straps dig in and the fabric scratch, and staring for hours on end at your nearly nude self.

On the other hand, this practice is perhaps the best first step on the road to body positivity. To love how you look, you must know how you look, and swimsuit shopping presents an excellent opportunity to get to know your curves. While shopping, you can learn your true size, which will allow you to shop effectively for plus-size swimwear online.

You can also learn what styles most flatter your body ― not necessarily by slimming it or hiding the so-called flaws, but instead by making you feel comfortable and attractive. Your body shouldn’t stand between you and that smoking-hot bandeau bikini; if it makes you feel good, go for it.

Pamper Yourself

Having a good-looking and good-feeling swimsuit isn’t the only way to make you feel beautiful on the beach. You might also spend some time primping and pampering yourself before the big day. Almost everyone has at least one aspect of their body they utterly adore: their nails, their hair, their legs, etc.

On your beach day, you might put some effort into playing up your favorite features, perhaps by getting a manicure, or curling your luscious locks. You might even add accessories, like anklets or headbands, that draw attention to your proudest features. Though not everyone will enjoy primping, you might find it makes you more confident on the beach.

Reprogram Your Brain

Cognitive restructuring is a psychological process that works to replace negative behaviors with positive ones. By integrating reprogramming into your daily life, you will begin to feel more positive about your body and more excited about your day at the beach. The process is relatively simple, considering its extensive benefits:

  • Step 1: Notice when you are engaging in a negative behavior. In this case, the negative behavior is thinking poorly about your body or dreading your appearance on the beach.
  • Step 2: Consider why you engaged in that behavior. Often, you might think body-negative thoughts after seeing someone you deem conventionally fit or attractive.
  • Step 3: Meditate and practice self-compassion. Instead of dwelling on your negative self-image, you should focus on your breathing for a few minutes and then give yourself a compliment.

Ignore the Haters

Media personalities, rude strangers, and even bad friends can ruin your beach day ― and your body positivity progress ― with a flippant comment or facial expression. For now, you should do your best to ignore these people and the awful things they say.

Our culture rarely rewards those who feel positively about their bodies ― especially if their bodies do not fit the conventional mold for attractiveness. Once you feel secure in your body positivity, you might actively work against such bullies and help others feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, but when you are just starting on the body positivity road, it is best to simply cut off poisonous influences at the quick.

Stay Positive No Matter What

You deserve more than a stress-free day at the beach; you and your body deserve a lifetime of comfort and happiness, and by practicing body positivity, you can obtain it. No matter what bumps appear on your path, you should refocus on the positives ― such as that you have a strong body that can take you to the beach or anywhere you want to go. You can be confident despite your fears, and you can remain positive despite the negative attitudes of those around you. If you love yourself, nothing else matters.

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