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Queer bodies. Racialized bodies. Trans bodies. Disabled bodies. Old bodies. All marginalized bodies and identities are a site for injustice. Body positivity is necessarily about combating oppression and figuring out how to thrive despite it. That's why I want to see body positivity ideology shift from a dominant story to include all our stories and identities, and why I want us to develop the skills of body autonomy and belonging, to help us heal personally and collectively from systemic discrimination while challenging and dismantling it. For example, ask yourself, Why is it important that I turn off my iPhone when I'm working on an important project? Or Why is putting my iPhone in another room helping me relax? Knowing why we are doing something helps us figure out how to do it. Recommendation #3: Strengthen Your Frustration Tolerance Do any of the following statements ring true for you? I can't stand not having my iPhone with me! I must check my social-media accounts so I know what my friends are up to! I should always be available to my mother, father, son, daughter, partner, friend, or boss. I feel afraid when I don't have my phone. According to Aristotle, happiness is found when we perfect our human nature and enrich our lives through finding a balance of health, wealth, knowledge, and friends throughout our entire lives. If you usually head straight for the stepper in the gym, go run some stairs in a local stadium instead or go for a hike. Forgo your spin class for intervals around your neighborhood on your old beach cruiser or your kid's five-speed bike that's been gathering dust in the garage for a decade.

Or buy a cheap sandbag and lug it around the park in place of your usual weights routine. Yes, the exact work done during all of these options is much more difficult to quantify in your spreadsheet or app if you're doing unplugged outdoor sessions, but that's fine. You should be working toward feeling better, not just improving your numbers, anyway. The Cost of Plugging In We're learning more and more about the clinical, psychological, and cognitive effects of being constantly connected. We joke about short attention spans and the lengths we go to in order to reach the goal our app has set, but there's an unnerving grain of truth in those jokes: we're changing the way our brains work and making ourselves more anxious than ever. What Was That? The Plague of Continuous Partial Attention Our bodies will remain our bodies; What needs changing is not our bodies, and it's more than changing how we feel about them. What needs to change is how the rest of the world receives and interprets those signals they're sending. Instead of being signals that indicate someone's status or lack of status and therefore whether a person will be welcomed into belonging and safety, let's create a context in which all of us belong--with our body autonomy intact, valued, and seen for who we are. Right now, for the most part, in our body positivity courses, platforms, and communities, we rely on self-love to cope with the injuries that come from being excluded from belonging in our families, workplaces, communities, and nations. Shouldn't it be our body positivity project, personally and collectively, to create the conditions in which belonging is possible for all bodies? There's no room in our social justice movements for only one identity and only one story. We need to hear all the stories and all the solutions in order to heal. We need to see other people who look like us in order to be welcome, and we need to learn skills for creating belonging in order to be able to cope with and change a culture that's currently hostile to us and to create the alliances necessary to be the best we can be. That's why, if we move beyond the dominant narrative in the body positivity community, we're also going to have to move beyond its primary tool of self-love. Life requires that we make choices, often meaning we have to sacrifice our desire for instant gratification. Frustration tolerance--our ability to withstand the discomfort of frustration--is a necessary skill that helps us find balance.

For example, of course it's easier to log on to social media or sit on the couch and stream Netflix rather than face the day's long list of responsibilities, such as caring for an elderly parent, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, finishing a work project, or working on a term paper. It is obvious that indulging our wishes in this way for an extended period of time causes us more harm than good. There's a big difference, however, between knowing this to be true and doing something to change our behavior. For many, the significant distress that arises from just the thought of not having their iPhone, even for a short amount of time, is based on the belief that they would be unable to tolerate any amount of deprivation. In short, irrational beliefs such as, I'll die without my iPhone or I must immediately respond to my friends' texts or I literally can't stand being offline, combined with low frustration tolerance lead to imbalances between our virtual and actual lives. Developing a healthy degree of frustration tolerance is not only necessary for finding balance in the digital age, it's also an essential component of successful treatment and optimal emotional health. Frustration tolerance is dependent upon each of our ego strength and personal agency. To begin with, ego strength is determined by aspects of our personality, attitude, or behavior that helps us maintain good mental health in the face of adversity or painful experiences. It's not a stretch to say that our lives have never been more fragmented or distracted. Uninterrupted access to millions of websites, the ability to send messages around the world in the blink of an eye, and carrying around a productivity tool / music player / camera / communication device plus a wearable with us wherever we go means that we're never bored. And this is precisely the problem. Because we have so much going on at all times, we can never fully immerse ourselves in anything. In the age of perpetual stimulation and distraction, we've become so scatterbrained that technology thought leader Linda Stone coined the phrase continuous partial attention (CPA). Stone explains it as an always-on, anywhere, anytime, any place behavior that involves an artificial sense of constant crisis. We are always on high alert when we pay continuous partial attention. In a 24/7, always-on world, continuous partial attention used as our dominant attention mode contributes to a feeling of overwhelm, over-stimulation and to a sense of being unfulfilled. We are so accessible, we're inaccessible. The latest, greatest powerful technologies have contributed to our feeling increasingly powerless. Yes, self-love is an important self-reclamation and self-preservation tool. Yes, it has space-making cultural consequences for trans, fat, disabled, and other marginalized bodies.

I argue, however, that the need for practicing and reclaiming self-love is a testimony to how far-reaching and all-consuming oppression and body-based injustice truly is. That we need to constantly affirm and reaffirm and strive to love ourselves is itself a reaction to and symptom of systemic rejection. I don't want us simply to cope with body-based oppression on an individual basis. I want us to eliminate it. To eradicate the rejection, we've got to change our social conditioning and the culture around us. RADICAL BELONGING A focus on self-love means that we individualize a collective problem. Predictably, that erases many experiences of body oppression and ends up reinscribing body-based oppression and exclusion in the very community and movement that could be functioning as a model for radical belonging. In ego psychology, ego strength is defined as the capacity of the ego to cope with conflicting demands of the id, superego, and reality. In treatment, identifying a person's ego strength is a vital determinant of how well they will cope with painful life situations. Optimal frustration tolerance, a term associated with self- Deep-breathing exercises and the use of self-affirming statements to decrease anxiety strengthen our frustration tolerance and go a long way toward helping us resist overindulging in behaviors such as mindlessly playing Candy Crush or going on social media--behaviors that ultimately lead to more frustration, depression, anxiety, and guilt. Learning how to move from the knowing zone into the doing zone is key to finding balance and making healthy decisions in the digital age. Most psychologists believe our sense of personal agency is what's responsible for allowing us to take action in our lives. Personal agency refers to our ability to create and to direct actions for given purposes. Like taking the action to work on a term paper instead of watching Netflix or going for a run instead of eating a carton of cookies, having healthy relationships requires a sense of personal agency, such as talking about your feelings to a friend instead of turning to social media for a feeling of connectedness. In a nutshell, when we have a sense of agency, we're able to take action. It's not hard to see how developing both frustration tolerance and personal agency is essential for gaining balance in the digital age. CPA doesn't just apply to social media or our work lives but also to how we exercise. If you're a member of a gym, how often do you see someone taking a call or texting while they're on a cardio machine, or stopping a lifting session to take a self-promoting selfie in the mirror?

Doing so denies us the mind-clearing release that focused physical activity promises and means we derive less physiological benefit from the time and effort we put into exercising. And as Stone says, something that could help us feel empowered in fact leaves us feeling more powerless than ever. Athletic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder If you read widely, you've probably come across stories warning about the ill effects of checking e-mail dozens of times a day, constantly posting updates to social-media sites, and getting involved in perpetual texting conversations. Yet very few people have explored how our attempts to become completely self-quantified are contributing to the constant sense of unease that many of us feel. Spend enough time around elite athletes and you'll see that the phenomenon of health anxiety is all too real. Counting calories, measuring power output, logging sets and reps . In any other sphere, these would be viewed as the hallmarks of obsessive-compulsive disorder! We all know by now that individualism doesn't solve collective problems. This article, though it recognizes the value of self-love, doesn't stop there. The project of this article--and in our lives--is to move beyond self-love into radical belonging. Individual self-love cannot change the world, but finding ways to belong to one another and offer one another refuge can. It can help shift the ground we stand on until, one day, more bodies are valued and all of us belong. All the self-love in the world doesn't prevent other people from othering or trans-shaming or fat-shaming you. And when all you hear is a dominant narrative that doesn't represent you, the self-love edict can push you even further from finding your soul. When I was suffering with an eating disorder, my investment in the dominant healing narrative only served to further my entrenchment. The commonplace understanding of eating disorders is rooted in the mainstream cis narrative that women want to be thinner because they are taught it's beautiful and they see that beauty is a woman's main (or only) path to cultural power. To gain acceptance, therefore, and avoid marginalization, women restrict their food, exercise excessively, take laxatives, or throw up. Just like building up our body's muscles, strengthening frustration tolerance takes practice, dedication, time, and energy. Skill-Building Strategies