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Summer body confidence: loving yourself from the inside out

It’s summertime and no one should feel limited to enjoying the joys of swimming, frolicking, and loving our birthrights — the bodies that nature gave us. It can be intimidating to step into a swimsuit as a mature woman over 50. However, age should not be in any way a factor that prevents women from enjoying the sun, the water, and their amazing bodies. Ladies, get your bikinis out with this quick guide to embrace yourself from the inside out.

How to feel confident in a swimsuit

Shift from external to internal: Let’s begin this by understanding that treating ourselves, our minds, and bodies with love is crucial in every age. There are plenty of amazing, strong, and beautiful women out there that don’t think twice about wearing a swimsuit. Fretting about wearing a swimsuit is rooted in assumptions we make about how the world will experience us, which in reality are simply projections of our thoughts about ourselves. Change that harsh inner dialogue by pivoting from an external to an internal focus targeting the things you can control instead of those you cannot.

Try this reflection exercise

Take a minute to describe yourself, notice the words you use. Are they focused on appearance, or did they include your personality traits? This exercise helps you reflect on how you think about yourself. Try focusing on traits that you admire and respect about yourself. By maintaining your focus on the internal, you can nurture yourself and build self-esteem.

Choose thoughts wisely

Studies show that humans have 6,200 thoughts each day. Thoughts fuel behaviors, so choose positive thoughts about yourself. From a neuroscientific standpoint, if you feed your brain with negative thoughts then those neurons get stronger. By choosing positive thoughts, you can strengthen different neural pathways in your brain. This is called neuroplasticity – retraining your brain to think differently – and it empowers us to cultivate thoughts that serve us instead of sap us. Of course, it takes practice and time, just like learning a new skill.

Mirror work

Louise Hay spent decades teaching mirror work, the practice of reciting positive affirmations to your reflection. She mentioned that the affirmations with the most power are those you say out loud when you are in front of your mirror. This is because the mirror reflects back to you the feelings you have about yourself. Give it a try! Put on your swimsuit, stand in front of a mirror, and while looking at yourself, say, “I love and accept myself exactly as I am, this minute, unconditionally.” Repeat it several times and believe it! As you learn to do mirror work, you’ll become more aware of the words you say to yourself. This will help you take care of yourself on a deeper level than you have done before. Play with words and create your own affirmations that empower and resonate with yourself.

Now, get that swimsuit on (whatever works for you), grab some sunscreen, and take your beautiful body to the beach! Aging is part of life and it brings a new set of possibilities, experiences, and adventures to live! Give yourself the gift of self-acceptance and remember to love yourself ‘til the end.