Do you remember back in grade school or high school when having friends meant almost everything in the world? It was so important to have friends, and who your friends were determined where you fit in at school. Whether you were part of the cool kids, nerds, jocks, or outcasts, who you hung out with played in a big part in how you were defined. Well, long gone are the days of lockers, cafeterias, and hours of recess, now that we are adults. However, the influence that our friends and social groups have on our lives is still significant. As much as we may seek individuality and embrace uniqueness we are still affected by those people who are closest to us in life.
When it comes to body relationship, our friends do impact how we feel about our bodies and how we treat our bodies. Of course our relationship with our bodies is our responsibility and something that we have to learn to manage on our own, but the decisions that we make in regards to our holistic health and overall wellness can be greatly influenced by those around us. Depending on how our friends feel about their OWN bodies, they can either help or hinder our journey to a healthy, loving relationship with our bodies. That means that there is an importance to choosing friends who are cultivating healthy body relationships themselves. Because our tribe can help ensure our success. Here are 5 ways good friends help your body relationship:
- They Inspire You- Friends who love their body and self will inspire you to do the same! When you see the evolution in their life, it motivates you. When you see them working towards connecting with the highest version of themselves, it gives you the desire to experience it in your own life. Seeing your friends flourish in their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health can help spark the flame for you to do the same.
- They Embrace You- Friends who have learned to love themselves unconditionally will be be able to offer the same type of loving support to you. If they have learned to accept their own flaws as a form of beauty, they will be able to embrace you for who you are as well, flaws and all. Whenever you have those days where you are struggling with self love or feel extra critical about the image you see in the mirror, it helps to have a friend who can point out the beauty in those “flaws” that you see, because they practice loving themselves in the same way. Being embraced in your positive moments as well as your negative ones, affirms that you are worthy of love and helps you learn to be patiently loving with yourself.
- They Encourage You- When you make the commitment to work towards holistic health and wellness in your life, there will be good days and positive moments. There will also be challenging days with negative moments that make you want to give up on your goals. Good friends and a supportive tribe will encourage you no matter what. Whether you’re accomplishing things that feel like progress or experiencing things that feel like failure, a good friend is going to cheer you on and and cheer you up! We need encouragement when we are doing well, to keep up the work. However, we also need our friends to encourage us in those times where it feels like our wellness and body relationship isn’t doing well at all.
- They Hold You Accountable- It’s nice to have people who will give us a pep talk and tell us things that feel good. However, a good friend will love you enough to also tell you the things that you may not want to hear. They will hold you accountable to the commitments that you have made to your own body relationship and well being. In those moments where you want to slack and stay in your comfort zone, a true friend is going to challenge your excuses and not let you settle for doing less than your best. Even when you don’t WANT to be reminded of your commitments that you made, your friends will help you be loyal to yourself.
- They Support You- One of the best parts of having holistically healthy friends is that they offer support in so many ways. They send you recipes for your chosen nutrition plan (vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc). They share posts with you to help with that new fitness goal you mentioned (yoga, pilates, running, etc.). They mail you a “how to” book about that spiritual practice you are now exploring (meditation, chanting, prayer, etc.) They may even show up to your first 5K to cheer you on. Perhaps they taste the new recipes that you are experimenting with. Maybe they watch your kids or pets, so that you can keep your promise to devote more time to self care. Whatever it may be, a good friend will be supportive through their own unique way, by helping you love YOU!
Think About This: Do you want to a healthier, more loving relationship with your body and self? Are you ready to move forward in your quest for holistic health and wellness in your life? What about your friends? Are you surrounded by people who can HELP you? Are the people in your circle helping you to be healthier?
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