What Actually Helped My Body Image
what actually helped my body image
With summer in full-swing, I’m sure most of us are spending more time wearing swimsuits, shorts, tank tops, and the like. For some people, summer provides a sigh of relief from the cold winter months. For others, however, it can spark feelings of anxiety and negativity over their body image. Trust me, I know how miserable it is to feel uncomfortable and unconfident in your own skin, so I’m here to tell you all about what helped me improve the way I perceive my body. I hope these help you, too!
find the good
If you’re always looking for things that you hate about yourself, you will have no problem finding them… which is why you need to start looking for things you love (or at least like) about yourself! Take a look in the mirror and find one thing you can compliment yourself on every day, or think about something you’re proud of yourself for. Thank your body for everything it does for you; it’s amazing what our minds and bodies are capable of. Writing down the compliments that you give yourself can also be super helpful, and they can serve as a reminder if you’re having a bad body image day.
If your inner voice is always critical, hateful, and just negative in every way, you will never be able to think of yourself in a positive light. Instead of thinking things like, “I look so bad today,” or “I can’t do anything right,” think along the lines of “I am capable of whatever I put my mind to,” or, “My looks are the least interesting thing about me.” Stopping the negative thoughts as they enter your mind is also key; I like to find something to distract myself from those thoughts or just tell that voice inside my head to stop as soon as I realize it’s not doing me any good.
Similar to tip #1, writing these new, positive thoughts down can help immensely. You can always refer back to them if you need a little confidence boost, but looking at and repeating them – whether in your head or out loud – as much as you can will help make positive self-talk your new normal.
be aware of your surroundings
Our whole mood and attitude can easily be influenced by our surroundings, which is why you need to be picky about what (and who) you let into your life. If you’re constantly surrounded by people who are always complaining, being judgmental, and have a negative attitude in general, it’s going to be extremely difficult to be an upbeat, optimistic, generally happy person.
Likewise, if you are consuming media that encourages unhealthy habits, harmful thinking, or anything that just doesn’t sit right with you / makes you feel bad, you’re making things a lot harder than necessary for yourself.
Once I realized that being surrounded by things that were not serving me was pointless, I started being pickier about who I spent my time with, what I did with my time, who’s advice / criticism I would listen to, and who’s social media accounts I would follow. After I filtered out all the unnecessary things I was consuming in my life, everything felt a lot clearer. I was able to get my work done when I needed to, focus on myself and my goals (such as improving my body image), and become a happier version of myself.
quit the triggers
This relates quite a bit to tip #3 (be aware of your surroundings). If you constantly feel bad about yourself after looking in a full-body mirror, turn that mirror around for a while – or if you don’t think you’ll be able to resist the temptation, get rid of it completely! Likewise, if you enter a spiral of negative thoughts after stepping on the scale (no matter what the number is), stop using the scale!
I stopped weighing myself and looking in full body mirrors all the time when I left for college (mostly because I didn’t have access to those things as easily), and it helped IMMENSLY. I started focusing more on how I felt in my body rather than how I looked on the outside, which is how it should be! How you feel is always, always, ALWAYS more important than how you look.
dress confidently & comfortably
For myself – and I think a lot of others – in order to feel confident in my outfit, it needs to be comfortable. When I am wearing clothes that fit me (no matter what size they are), are a material that my skin agrees with, and look cute, I feel unstoppable.
However, just because you’re wearing something that’s cute and comfy doesn’t automatically mean you’ll feel confident in it. I wish it did, but unfortunately that’s not how it works for most of us. If you have an outfit that you absolutely LOVE but don’t feel super confident in, I suggest starting off slow. Wear it around your room by yourself, and then wear it around the people you’re most comfortable with, and when you finally feel confident in your killer outfit, wear it out and about!
Remember to be patient with yourself because these things take time. You are perfect just as you are! (:
This might be everyone’s favorite – and I can’t blame you if it is! Practicing self-care in any way that works for you is incredibly important for many reasons, but it can drastically improve your confidence and self-image, too. Showing your body that you care enough to show up for it in any way it needs makes you feel good – not just because you treated yourself, but because you are showing your body that it deserves to be respected and taken care of.
However you want to practice self-care and give yourself a confidence boost – whether it’s getting your nails or hair done, taking a nap, moving your body in a way that makes you feel good, spending time with family and friends, watching your favorite show or movie, eating foods that make you happy, or anything else – it’s important to do so in order to improve your body image. Promise yourself that you’ll take care of it and then show up, do your best, and shower yourself in love!
One of the most damaging things you can do for your happiness and overall well-being is to compare yourself to anyone – whether it’s your friends or family, your past self, or even someone you don’t know at all! Comparing any part of yourself and your story to someone else’s is a horrible and miserable habit to partake in, and I can tell you with complete honesty that you will be so much happier if you stop comparing.
Some of the other steps I’ve listed here are very helpful with ending the circle of comparison. The ones that really helped me were quitting my triggers (stop comparing your weight to where you were 2 years ago) and becoming more aware of my surroundings (remove yourself from situations where you are bound to compare yourself). Also, this is so cliché, but reminding yourself that no one else cares what you look like because they’re too busy focusing on themselves is really helpful when you find yourself feeling self-conscious because you’re comparing yourself to someone else.
Once your self-confidence grows and your body image improves, it becomes so much easier to avoid spiraling into an overwhelming amount of comparison thoughts. You can do this. (:
I hope these self-love tips help you grow your confidence because you deserve to feel amazing no matter what! If you are struggling with your body image right now, know that you are not alone. I know it might not seem like it right now, but I promise there is light at the end of the tunnel!
I really enjoyed this post. A couple things I want to say/share.
I know I need to practice more self care. I know other people that get massages or see a chiropractor to get aligned and they really enjoy it. I will be getting one of those done soon.
Stop comparing is something I have been trying to do. I can actually feel myself becoming mentally/emotionally ill when I compare myself to others in specific situations.
Lastly, find the good. I have been thinking about a tattoo that will remind me to find the good.
Thank you for your message.