Written by Jenn Hand, Holistic Nutritionist, Board Certified Health Coach, NBC-HWC

You know that feeling you get when you’re antsy in your skin? It’s like you can’t quite feel comfortable in your body; you feel itchy/like nothing fits/like you want to escape into another body.

It could be you’ve gained weight.

Or maybe it’s just an emotional trigger or a certain outfit that causes you to feel that way.

Body discomfort is something that can ruin a day–it keeps us stuck in our heads, not able to enjoy conversations, people, or the situation we’re in (because we’re obsessing over the terrible feeling).

I can remember entire dinners out or weekends away where 90% of the time, I was stuck in the “I feel uncomfortable in my body and don’t know what to do” thought/feeling.

So next time you get stuck, here are 5 tips to help you feel comfortable in your body 🙂 

1.  Hide the Mirrors

This might seem like an odd suggestion.

But I’ve found that mirrors often cause us to “check” in on ourselves to make sure our body looks ok.

When I first started yoga (and was not in a great place food/weight/body wise), I would close my eyes the entire class to avoid the mirror. It was so helpful because it forced me to focus on how I felt INSIDE vs what negative thoughts I was thinking about my body.

When we’re not comfortable in our body, we don’t usually glance in the mirror and think, “wow, I look fab”. We think terrible, critical thoughts about ourselves. So see if you can experiment avoiding the mirrors. Or better yet, tape something over them in your house or apartment!

(Yes, you might get weird looks, but hey, your own well-being comes first .🙂 )

It might seem like a band aid solution, but it can be very healing to “force” yourself to give in to the need to check the reflection.

Hide the Mirrors
I’ve found that mirrors often cause us to “check” in on ourselves to make sure our body looks ok.

2. Wear Clothes That Don’t Make You Think About Your Body

When I was at my most uncomfortable, I wore this heinous mustard yellow-y green and brownish smock dress thingy.

(I wish I had a photo, but I avoided all photos back then.)

It was summer and clothes were a serious problem for me. So I bought a tight-ish around my chest, loose around my body long flow-y dress. I didn’t care if it flattered me; the main point was that it wasn’t tight. I wasn’t trying to fit into something smaller or squeeze into my too-tight-pants when they barely buttoned. I felt flow-y and free in that dress; it helped me not think about how uncomfortable I felt in myself.

See if you can find some outfits that feel like that.

Clothes that don’t button, snap or are clingy are great ones to experiment with. The hardest part of body discomfort can be finding clothes…so search high and low for something that doesn’t remind you of the discomfort all day.

When your outfit is something that is just “there” (as opposed to “it’s tight and doesn’t fit”), it helps to free up space in your head for focusing on your day instead of your body.

Related Post: Waiting ’til you lose weight to buy clothes?

Wear Clothes That Don’t Make You Think About Your Body
When your outfit is something that is just “there” (as opposed to “it’s tight and doesn’t fit”), it helps to free up space in your head for focusing on your day instead of your body.

3. Spend 3-4 Minutes Breathing

Sometimes I’ll take one long deep inhale and a slowwww exhale and think to myself:

That’s the first conscious breath I’ve taken all day!

(And it’s approaching 4pm 😉 )

We breathe all day but don’t really focus on our breath. Slow, deep breathing can be magical. Why is this so important in our body discomfort?

Because when we feel uncomfortable inside our body that is the last place we want to be. 

So we avoid it, we are in our heads and we resist inhabiting our body. But that is exactly what we need to be doing!

Allowing yourself to slow down, breathe and go IN, you’ll be better able to move through the discomfort. It is only THROUGH the discomfort, that we can open the space for being at ease in our body. It is counter-intuitive but really can be SO helpful!

(Try it and let me know. 🙂 )

Spend 3-4 Minutes Breathing
Slow, deep breathing can be magical.

4. Abstain from Taking Photos

One of the greatest rabbit holes we can go down? Scrutinizing photos of ourselves.

You can even be having an okay/good body image day, then snap a pic, zoom in and think, “omg, is THAT what I look like?!” It completely ruins an otherwise feeling-fine day.

So when you’re not feeling at ease in your skin, refrain from not only taking photos but looking at them, as well!

(I don’t know why we all feel the need to zoom in and look over our bodies. I still do it and it can ruin how I feel. No one else is doing this to us, so why are we doing it to ourselves?! #workingonit).

Abstain from Taking Photos
One of the greatest (aka. worst!) rabbit holes we can go down? Scrutinizing photos of ourselves.

5. Focus OUTSIDE Yourself

I do realize I said “go IN” with your breathing in #3.

But with this one, it gets you out of your head but in a different way. So much of the “body discomfort” is our thoughts. Of course, it is a feeling; it’s just that our thoughts keep us stuck in the feeling! We go around and around in our heads; it’s like we’re living separately from life, because we are trapped in our minds!

(I have lived this soooo many times! Not being able to be present because I was obsessing over how uncomfortable I felt).

So focusing on something or someone outside of yourself immediately transports you out of your own mind.

  • Buy flowers for a friend
  • Write a handwritten card to someone
  • Call an old friend
  • Pay for someone behind you at a coffee shop
  • Look for ways to help: open doors, assist with grocery bags, offer to bring dinner to someone who could use help, smile at everyone you pass on the street, etc
  • Volunteer (this is my favorite one–focusing on those in need is the fastest way out of your own head)
Focus OUTSIDE Yourself

Bonus Tip:

Remind yourself 1,000 times if you have to:

I am more than my body.

I am enough just as I am.

I am not my body.

Whatever mantra resonates and reminds you that your physical self is just ONE part of who you are, repeat it as many times as you need 🙂

Next time you want to feel comfortable in your body, try one out and let me know how it goes 🙂

Which one resonates most with you? Share below!

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About the Author: 

Jenn Hand has been helping women like you become normal eaters since 2015.

She’s worked with thousands of women, helping them to balance their bodies, end bingeing, stop obsessing over food, and start feeling amazing again.  As a board-certified health coach and holistic nutritionist, Jenn knows how to support you in making real positive changes that last.

Her articles have been published on Mind Body Green, Tiny Buddha, Thrive Global and other local and global media platforms. She’s the author of How to Be a Normal Eater and the creator of The Normal Eater’s Club program. Listen to Jenn’s advice and tips on the Cake Doesn’t Count Podcast, or read more of her articles for free on the Food Freedom Blog.

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