The way you see yourself has a significant effect on the way you live your life. It’s a crucial part of mental health and self-love.
Anyone can experience negative body image issues and negative thoughts at any stage of life. In fact, lots of people deal with negative feelings about their body.
Learning to love your body image and to feel good about your body can help you live your life to the fullest. It can help you be happy and confident in yourself.
So, in this post, I’m sharing practical tips that can help you get on the road to a positive body image.
How To Love Your Body Image
What Is Body Image
Your body image is the way you see your body and feel about your body, weight, height, shape, appearance, etc.
Knowing what body image is, and what influences it can help you better understand yourself.
It can also help you accept your body image, and love your body in general.
What Influences Body Image
There are many different things that influence the way you see and feel about your body.
Social media – seeing other people, influencers, and celebrities often cause negative self-esteem when you start comparing yourself to them
Unrealistic beauty standards and beauty ideals
Comparing yourself to others
Mental health – your mental health also impacts the way you’ll see yourself
Self-love – loving yourself is the most important thing you can do for your overall well-being, and when it lacks, you tend to have a negative body image amongst other things
Self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, and past experiences
Hormones and metabolism
Diet and exercise habits
Reframe your thoughts
It really is all about your mindset. It’s simply your thought you need to change. You need to learn to love yourself and be confident no matter what the scale says, because that doesn’t define your worth – you’re amazing and beautiful no matter what the scale says.
First, you need to be able to identify negative thoughts. Then, challenge negative self-talk and focus on the positive aspect of your body.
To challenge negative thoughts, whenever you get one, replace it with positive affirmations.
Surround yourself with body-positive people
One of the best ways to improve your body image is to surround yourself with body-positive people that make you feel comfortable in your own skin – and avoid those who make you feel bad.
Your company can really impact the way you think of yourself, even if you try not to let it, so choose the people you spend your time with wisely.
It’s not only important to surround yourself with people that speak positively about you, but also people that speak positively about themselves.
For example, when you’re sitting next to someone who weighs less than you, and they start talking negatively about themselves, that automatically makes you feel bad, because you know you weigh more than them.
So, surround yourself with body-positive people, and hearing them talk positively about themselves and about you will help shift your mindset.
Be mindful of unrealistic beauty standards
Unrealistic beauty standards are so common in media. The sad thing is that media and societal beauty standards have a powerful impact on how we view our bodies.
Remind yourself that everyone’s bodies are beautiful and unique.
Those women you see in magazines and online are often photoshopped or made slimmer – so don’t compare yourself to bodies that aren’t even real.
And, don’t compare yourself to those that are real either – always be mindful of unrealistic beauty standards media portrays. Just because the media portrays something as a beauty standard, doesn’t mean it’s true.
Here’s something else to think about – if you’re comparing yourself to models and you feel bad because they’re slimmer than you or more toned, consider the fact that it’s their job to look that way. It’s their job to work out every single day (even multiple times per day) and eat a strict diet. They have time for that because they’re paid for it. So, stop comparing yourself to them.
Try to limit your exposure to images and messages that make you feel bad about yourself.
Comparison is the worst thing you can do for your body image. It never ends well, and only makes you feel worse about yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to your friend, sister, cousin, co-workers, celebrities, models, neighbors – literally anyone. Everyone’s bodies are different, or lives are different, our habits, our routines – the way you look depends on so many things so there’s no point in comparing yourself to anyone.
The only person you should compare yourself to is YOU – and I don’t mean compare yourself now to the way you looked a few years ago if you were more toned then, I mean strive every day to be healthier and happier than you were yesterday.
Appreciate your body
You are healthy and gorgeous. Appreciate the body you have and treat it as well as you should. It’s okay to strive to improve, but that doesn’t mean you should not appreciate the body you have now.
Wear clothes that make you feel good
It’s important to help yourself learn to love your body, so wear clothes that make you feel good. If something makes you feel frustrated with your own body image, don’t wear it anymore.
Small changes like that can really help with having a positive body image. When you wear something that doesn’t make you feel good and you look in the mirror, you probably won’t be happy. Your whole mood will change and you’ll be unhappy with the way you look.
But when you wear something that makes you feel gorgeous, it will instantly impact your mood and the way you see yourself.
Take spa days, read, go for walks, spend time with friends and loved ones – do whatever self-care means to you. Being happy and loving yourself will help with your body image.
Be kind to yourself
Treat yourself the same way you’d treat a loved one. Don’t be mean to yourself when you gain a few extra pounds – you’re still gorgeous.
Embrace your imperfections
Recognize that everyone has imperfections and that’s what makes us unique. Not every part of you needs to be perfect – because what does being perfect even mean?
There’s no rule that determines what a perfect body looks like – it’s all up to you and the way you see it. So choose to embrace your “imperfections”.
Seek professional help if needed
In case none of the tips work, and you find that your negative body image is impacting your daily life, consider seeking help from a therapist or counselor.
When you can’t deal with something yourself, it’s perfectly okay to ask for help!
They can help you walk through any body issues you might have, help you develop a good relationship with food, and with yourself.