10 Ways to Build a Positive Body Image
08 August 2016
With Women’s Day just around the corner, I feel that it is so important to talk about body image. So many of us (women especially) are self-conscious of our bodies, or are unhappy with a certain part of our physique. Media goes on and on to show us “perfect” bodies and so we continue to feel inadequate ourselves. But why? Why should anyone tell us how we ought to look or what shape our bodies ought to be!?! It’s all nonsense. We are all very different in shape and size…and we should be celebrating that! Can you imagine if we were all the same…how boring would that be right?! It’s time to start relooking at things and loving our bodies, being proud of who we are and embracing our unique shapes and sizes. Be healthy yes, look after your body, yes, but don’t ever let it define who you are!
I know simply reading one list of tips cannot automatically tell you how to turn negative body thoughts into a positive body image, but it can introduce you to healthier ways of looking at yourself and your body. The more you practice these new thought patterns, the better you will feel about who you are and the body you naturally have.
- Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you—running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
- Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about yourself.
- Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin deep. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.
- Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you–as a whole person.
- Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are.
- Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.
- Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work with your body, not against it.
- Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages: write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message
- Do something nice for yourself--something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.
- Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.
Celebrating all Women around the world
Yours in Health Always,