Do you often find yourself sinking into compare-and-despair mode?
In the realm of food and body, it sounds something like this:
- It’s so unfair that she can eat whatever she wants and not gain a pound. I gain weight just looking at cake.
- I’ll never look that good in a swimsuit; her stomach is way flatter than mine.
- Why can’t I have as much willpower as she does when it comes to sugar?
- Everyone in my yoga class is so fit and toned; I’m embarrassed of my flabby body.
- It’s so easy for him to lose weight. Why does it have to be so hard for me?
While it’s human nature to compare yourself to other people, the comparison game usually backfires. When your comparison puts you on the losing end, it often leads to feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, isolation, jealousy, desperation, despair and depression.
Quite simply, comparison is the death of joy.
Comparing yourself to others is a disempowering, futile act that results in unnecessary stress, struggle and suffering. However, rather than judge yourself for falling into the comparison trap (you are human, after all!), you can stop yourself from continually going down this path of self-attack.
Here’s one of my top strategies for ending compare and despair:
Start a gratitude journal.
Every day, write down a handful of things you’re grateful for—big and small. Be sure to include things you appreciate about your body.
For example, recent body-related entries in my gratitude journal included:
- My heart for beating all on its own.
- My eyes for allowing me to witness the magnificent sunrise.
- My strong legs for taking me on a gorgeous coastal hike.
- My arms for enabling me to hug my loved ones.
- My tongue for tasting the delicious dinner I made tonight.
By taking time to reflect on and appreciate all that’s good in your life—including what you cherish about your body—you’ll boost your positivity, improve your body image, elevate your overall well-being, and be much less inclined to compare yourself to others.
This certainly has been the case for me, and for my clients. But don’t just take my word for it—try it out for a few months and see for yourself.