When it comes to our bodies, a lot of us spend more time criticizing our imperfections and thinking about the things we would change about how we look, rather than thinking about what our bodies do for us each and every day. It's so easy to get caught up in that line of thinking, especially when there are so many outside pressures from social media, TV, movies, and even our own friends and family. But our bodies do a lot for us—every day, our body enables us to move through life and experience all it has to offer, no matter how fit or able we are.
Our bodies are by no means perfect, and we all have different life experiences that contribute to their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses—but that doesn't mean we should discredit or be so hard on them. We've got to cut ourselves (and our bodies) some slack and appreciate them for all they do, from the big things to the little things. For example, right now, you're reading this article because your body itself is working hard to see it physically and comprehend it mentally. It's a meta way of thinking, but it's true! Your body is a lot stronger and more capable than you think.
In the spirit of this month's #MyNextThirty theme, we wanted to celebrate and appreciate our bodies by rounding up a list of reasons to be thankful for them from our community and editors. Hopefully this list will inspire some confidence and positivity in your own life—especially on days when you're feeling low or bad about yourself. If you want to share your own piece of gratitude, use the hashtag #MyNextThirty on social media.
"I'm thankful my body allows me to work out and exercise, which in turn helps my mind feel healthier and happier!"
"It doesn't ask for much and is a pretty good communicator when it does!"
"I'm thankful that my body has been there to carry me through thick and thin, trials and tribulations, and takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'! I'm grateful that while I'm still young, I have come to realize that if I want my body to continue to be there for me like a best friend and ultimate support system (literally), I need to be kind and nourishing to it and accept it for everything that it is and can potentially do. It's truly always there for me and deserves love and respect. For allowing me to take care of loved ones, accomplish goals, and follow passions, I'll always be grateful and nurturing!"
"It's gotten me through some tough times in life—including losing my father and a bad accident. Even in the times I wanted to give up or run away, my body has always been there to support me, both mentally and physically."
"I love my body because it lets me do all of the activities I want to do, from hiking to working out at the gym."
"Thankful that it's given me 32 years so far and one amazing child, with another on the way."
"It makes me channel back to what's really important in life: being here."
"It allows me to move and try new activities without putting up (too much of) a fight."
"[I'm] thankful my body is recovering from surgery."
"Because it's healthy."
"For supporting my life! Thanks to my body I am capable of living!"
"For allowing me to see beautiful things, eat tasty foods, and carry me through life."
"It's my most loyal friend."
"It's always there even when I treat it badly (which I'm trying to improve).
"My body carries me through double shifts of housekeeping and working at a restaurant."
"I'm just learning to be okay with my body and all it does for me (and all I have to do to make sure it's there for me!); it's a difficult thing to learn."