Very few people in the modern world are lucky enough to not be inundated with suggestions from social media and the world of advertising regarding body image. It is extremely easy to fall prey to the belief that life is somehow less valuable if you do not possess the body of a fashion model. Constantly putting yourself down because you have body features never seen in clothing ads, or on magazine covers, is a destructive cycle.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing a better body through good nutrition and exercise. In fact, most people would be surprised if they discovered how many famous beautiful bodies did not start out that way. Many people who are noted for their physiques worked very hard to achieve their images. While practical and traditional means of body reshaping are beneficial, they also require long periods of time.

As a person works toward a better body, there are steps that they can take to make this goal worthwhile. Every step on the path to a better body requires deep, positive, and proactive self-evaluation. Here are some techniques to consider.

1. Own Your Body

Despite being overwhelmed with notions of commercial body ideals, people must realize that no two bodies are the same. Think about articles in certain magazines that ask readers, “Who wore it better?” This comparison pits two people with ideal bodies wearing the same outfit. Though both figures fit the mold of “body perfection,” readers will inevitably favor one heavily. This does not mean the loser is somehow ugly. It means the winner owned the look better.

Feeling comfortable in your own skin means accepting your own physical uniqueness. You were gifted with a body that is capable of change. If you are dissatisfied with certain features, do not leave yourself open to criticism from people by speaking against your own natural beauty. If you can own who you are now, you can eventually own who you can potentially be in the future.

2. Eliminate Cynicism and Bitterness

Sometimes, people feel disappointed with their bodies because of unhealthy past behaviors. Perhaps, you have arrived at a point where you feel that your body could never again look as attractive as you would like. Starting now, drop the thoughts that create degrees of self-loathing and unjust emotional punishment. Visualize making small improvements, and believe that you are just as worthy of being confident as anyone else.

3. Explore Clinical Innovations

One advantage of living in the modern world is medical science. People have the wonderful opportunity to explore elective clinical solutions to physical problems. For some people with image issues, visiting a cosmetic surgery clinic to explore options seems like a miracle. In many ways, some procedures are miracles. With things like ultrasound and liposculpting equipment, people can quickly target and alter certain features. With these advancements, there are minimal recovery periods and permanent results.

4. Find Friends with Similar Concerns

It can be very difficult to live with body image problems if you are surrounded by people you see as having great physiques. Chances are however, these people also have image concerns. It is truly a matter of personal perspective. Try growing a friend network that is filled with people who do not mind sharing their body concerns with others. Often, this results in emotional support and motivation to work on improvements together.

5. Avoid the Prison of Isolation

The most important thing to avoid if you struggle with being comfortable in your own body is isolation. The more you minimize your social engagement, the more it will seem that other people are better physically. Long periods of isolation because of self-consciousness can lead to depression. This is a mental place where being comfortable with your body is nearly impossible. Make it a personal mission to interact with a variety of people as much as possible. You will find acceptance in unexpected places, and that is powerful in being highly self-aware.

Finally, never forget that most people probably worry about their bodies at some point. Desiring a better body is part of human nature. This is precisely why there are things like fashion magazines, fad diets, and beauty pageants. The surest way to feel better in your own body is to continually love and care for yourself in all ways. Treat yourself to uplifting thoughts about your strengths. Eventually, these strengths are what will create a better image overall.