We all have bad days. Sometimes those bad days start or stop with how we feel about our bodies. Negative feelings aren’t necessarily something we battle daily, but when those negative feelings creep up, we have to find a healthy outlet or risk feeling that way for prolonged periods of time or sabotaging our otherwise healthy habits.

There’s nothing out of the ordinary about feeling this way. It’s common for women and men everywhere. For most of us, it’s a matter of shifting our focus. Learning to love our bodies will help us get out of our funk and get back on the right track.

Here are some tips to help you get over the hump and back to your wonderful self in no time:

01 Banish all negative thoughts by replacing them with positive affirmations. Psychologists have been telling us this for years. One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is to stop being so hard on yourself. You wouldn’t allow other people to criticize you, so why do you accept it coming from yourself? Think about all that you’ve accomplished in your life. Look how far you’ve come. Don’t let negativity dull your shine.

02 Focus on health. It’s not about what the scale says or what some “expert” in a fashion magazine says. Consider everything your body does to keep you going. It allows you to move, to think, to operate and rejuvenates overnight. That’s a lot of work. Be thankful for what your body does for you and be glad you get to have another day to try again.

03 Do something good for yourself. You deserve it! If there’s an exercise you’ve always wanted to try, why not get out and try it. Or maybe there’s a spa treatment you’ve been dying to get. Now would be a good time to do it. Show your body how much you appreciate it for all it does for you.

04 Go out and have some fun or invite your girlfriends over for a night in. Laughter among friends will lift your spirits and get the creative juices flowing again and will help you erase the negative emotions.

05 Journal. Yes, really. Write out what it is you’re feeling and let it go. Studies say that your subconscious clears the negative vibes when you write out your feelings. The emotions spill out of your pen, so to speak, and allow you to move forward. Give it a shot. All you need is a sheet of paper and a pen.

The bottom line is you don’t have to suffer. There are healthy and safe outlets to help you release the negative feelings we all have from time to time. They’re not unique to you. Everyone goes through essentially the same bouts of despair or anguish. That’s a normal part of living. So what if you’re not a size 2. The bigger thing you should ask yourself is how do you feel? Are you stronger today than you were yesterday? Are you moving in the right direction? If the answer is yes, hooray! We’re proud of you!

By Ava Mallory

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AVA MALLORY is the contributor writer for Healthy Magazine, with years of experience writing about many aspects of health. She can't imagine a field more relevant to every living person.