Regardless of age, color, shape, or size, many women around the globe share one thing in common: body image issues.
If you have a healthy body image, most of your thoughts and feelings about your body are positive. Body image is about much more than how others perceive our attractiveness, although that does play a part in body image.
How we feel about our bodies is ever-changing, and many influences help shape healthy (or negative) body image. If we don’t work to improve our body image (and help our children do the same), dissatisfaction with our bodies can lead to low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness.
3 Ways to Improve Body Image
Body image health is a real struggle for so many women. The media is constantly bombarding us with images that tell us thin = happy. Not healthy, but thin. Although the women we see on the screen don’t represent the reality of American society, we still feel less than when we realize that our bodies don’t quite “compare.” Instead of feeling acceptance and beauty when we look in the mirror, we see body image issues and shame. We can be so cruel—to ourselves. And our body image health suffers for it.
Avoid Negative Media
One of the first steps we can take is to avoid negative media when it comes to our bodies and body image. Although it will never be possible to do this 100%, building a healthy body image is all about seeking out experiences that affirm our worth. Instead of watching “Next Top Model” or “My 600 Pound Life” while you binge eat popcorn from your couch, try and gravitate towards wellness blogs or travel magazines.
Avoid negative conversations about appearance and weight. Although it’s essential to build a better body image, a healthy body image won’t show up through negative talk. It’s likely that more body image issues will.
Think (and speak) Positively
I know this tip might sound kind of “new age,” but a healthy body image is built in your mind. Whatever you think, you are. This one takes practice since a negative body image isn’t created overnight. When you catch yourself staring in the mirror and thinking negative thoughts about what you see, replace these thoughts with positive ones.
I noticed that when I think I am fat I start to put on weight and when I tell myself I am fit and lean I start to lose weight, same for aging skin, thinning hair and everything that might be “wrong” with me on the beauty spectrum
When you get ready to say something like “Ugh, I hate the way these jeans fit” or “I look horrible today,” repeat a healthy body image affirmation instead. Saying something like “I am beautiful in every way,” to yourself might seem silly at first. But positive psychology tells us that daily affirmations can have a huge effect on not only our body image but also your quality of life.
A quote from Darren Johnson that I love says “We all talk to ourselves. A major key to success exists in what we say to ourselves, which helps to shape our attitude and mindset.”
Set Realistic Body Image Goals
An essential part of building a better body image is accepting ourselves for how we are at the moment. This doesn’t mean that we can’t strive to change what we don’t like. As I mentioned in the beginning, our body image is ever-changing. We can attack our body image issues and build a healthy body image by setting realistic goals.
These goals need to be not only attainable but also health-focused. We shouldn’t be focusing on a particular number on the scale, but instead, trying to improve our body image through healthy living. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.
Just make sure that you’re truly working on improving your body image and not comparing yourself to others.These subtle changes in what you watch, think, say, and do can help you improve your body image in no time!
Have a beauTEAful day.
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