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How can I improve my body image to make sex more satisfying?

Emily Nagoski
Emily Nagoski on behalf of Good In Bed
Psychology
To cope with body image issues and improve your sexual satisfaction, start with what I think of as the four pillars of physical wellbeing:

  • Physical activity. Not because you’ll lose fat if you exercise -- you might, but that’s not the point. Aerobic activity improves the functioning of every organ system. It improves sleep quality and mood, it reduces chronic stress and anxiety, and it strengthens the immune system. Find 30 minutes a day for physical activity. It will improve your sex life and your relationship.
  • Nutrition. Again, not because you’ll lose fat if you eat healthfully -- you might, but it’s still not the point. Eating healthy foods fuels your body so that you stay healthy, and prevent both infectious disease and chronic illness. It’s pretty simple to do: Eat something dark green and leafy every day. Avoid sugar. Choose things that resemble their original source and ask yourself, “Did it grow that way?” and if the answer is no, consider something else.
  • Sleep. Sleep is important and good for you. It strengthens your immune system, improves concentration, memory, cognitive clarity, calculation accuracy, and emotional stability, increases bone and muscle strength, and balances your sugar metabolism. Sleep is important and good for you.
  • Meditation practice. In the case of body image I especially recommend loving-kindness meditation, where you fill yourself with kind, gentle feelings and thoughts about yourself and others. Try just this simple technique: After breathing 10 slow breaths and allowing your body to relax, think about a body part you’ve been feeling critical of. Now, in your relaxed state, still breathing deeply and slowly, send kind, loving, gentle, supportive feelings and thoughts to that body part. Allow your loving-kindness to warm and heal and strengthen that body part. Allow it to integrate itself into the rest of your body.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.