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Today, the images presented on the media and social platforms of what beauty is has resulted in many people, especially women, questioning whether they fit the standard. Statistics show that about 86% of American women are dissatisfied with what their bodies look like! Such feelings have led to eating disorders, depression, and body dysmorphia, among other physical and mental health conditions. This raises the need to educate and spread the word about body positivity. Body positivity encourages loving your body your way, regardless of what anyone says! However, for many, this is easier said than done. Below is a guide on a few healthy tips you can adopt to improve your body positivity for a happier you.
1. Use Daily Affirmations
Sometimes, the most practical way to feel good about yourself is by speaking it out loud daily. Daily affirmations are encouragements and reminders to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Additionally, affirmations harness your mind to visualize the positive changes you hope to achieve for a happier and healthier life, so keep this in mind. They are also known to reduce stress, increase happiness, build confidence, and instill ambition.
To develop a positive body image, affirm positive phrases such as “I love my body” or “My body is a gift, and I treat it with love and respect.” Keep these words of encouragement in areas you can easily access, such as on sticky notes on your mirror or phone through reputable daily affirmation apps.
2. Cut out the Negative Self-Talk
In the journey to self-care and creating a positive body image, you may be your own enemy. This is due to how you talk to yourself. It can be easier to see the beauty in your friends and others around you that you miss out on what you possess. This leads you to think and say very unkind things to yourself. Negative self-talk only creates a deeper hole and prevents you from seeing all your body’s beauty. Therefore, finding healthy ways to reduce negative self-talk is vital, so feel free to consider this.
The most effective way of cutting out negative self-talk is by consciously telling yourself the same things you would have told a friend in your position. If your friend felt down about how beautiful they were or were hurtfully critical about themselves, you would most likely want to save them from such self-harm. So, if you’d do it for a friend, why not do it yourself?
3. Don’t Hide from Compliments
When you don’t feel good about your body, it’s hard to believe someone else does. This makes it impossible to accept compliments. However, such a habit can do you more harm than good. First, compliments offer your inner critic a chance to heal, making it easy to see all the beauty in what you once saw as flaws. Additionally, compliments boost your confidence and help you see yourself in a newer and better light. Therefore, don’t be too quick to turn it down the next time you are offered a compliment. Acknowledge it with a simple “thank you” and a smile! You will feel great afterward.
Besides accepting compliments from others, you should practice complimenting yourself.
You can do this by cultivating the habit of speaking about yourself with positive and uplifting adjectives. It is important to remember that you, and others listening to you, believe what you say about yourself. If you are always demeaning yourself, that is what you feed your subconscious. Also, you give others permission to speak and treat you in that manner.
Lastly, it would be best if you also adopted the habit of complimenting others. This helps you avoid projecting your insecurities on them or misjudging them. Be sure to offer genuine compliments to others to uplift them and yourself. However, ensure you do so without undervaluing yourself in the process.
4. Wear What makes you Happy
If you have to go through countless wardrobe montages, only to feel worried about how your body would be perceived in them, it’s time to change that. A major problem for many women battling with body positivity is their ability to feel comfortable in their own style. Magazines and other media sources have introduced several beauty and fashion trends you want to jump on eagerly. Most of the time, these trends are not for everyone- which is fine, but this may make you feel bad about yourself.
This is why you need to find your style. Fashion is an individual experience, so find what makes you feel confident and comfortable, and go with that! Another way to feel great in your clothes is by letting go of clothes that are too big or too small. Once they don’t fit, consider giving them out as “hand-me-downs,” or donate them.
5. Do Something nice for your Body
To properly appreciate your body, you need to spend time with it. It would help if you considered doing something nice for your body every once in a while. Take the time to treat yourself to a healthy meal, go to the gym or spend some time outdoors. Even a nice warm bubble bath can do the trick. Such activities increase your body’s endorphins. More importantly, these activities allow you to spend time appreciating your body. Practicing mindfulness through yoga has also been proven to improve body positivity as it increases your self-confidence and arouses a sense of gratitude.
Another nice thing you can do for yourself is to take time to change things about yourself that weigh you down. For instance, if you feel over or underweight, consider dieting to help you change this. You can also consider various cosmetic procedures. That’s right! When done moderately, cosmetic procedures are a body-positive choice to make yourself feel more comfortable and happy. So, you shouldn’t feel ashamed for undergoing such processes. You can consider going for botox procedures with professionals like expert botox physician, Dr. Arash Akhavan to ensure you get your desired results.
6. Surround Yourself with a Positive Community
The truth is you are not the only one battling with issues of body positivity, and sometimes, it helps to be in contact with people who understand the struggle you are going through. Fortunately, you can join a community that promotes this cause. You can join online forums and social media pages promoting body positivity and offering opportunities to network and learn from each other’s experiences. It would be best if you also considered speaking to a therapist to help you dissect your reasons for poor body image and advise you on how to overcome these issues healthily. Speaking to trusted friends and family is also a great idea, as they can help you during the various stages of your journey.
7. Be Intentional about your Social Media Content
As mentioned early, social media plays a significant role in body positivity. It has been found that social media exposes users to vast amounts of negative content that can affect body image drastically. These platforms showcase many “socially accepted” body types and trends. Additionally, using realistic filters and photo editing software to transform images has made it even more challenging for users to be themselves all the time. For these reasons, it is advisable not to spend too much time on social media. Also, unfollow accounts or users that promote negative body image antics. Taking social media is another excellent and effective idea to cultivate a positive body image, so keep this in mind.
Despite its negative effects on body image, social media platforms can be used for good. Several social media initiatives are dedicated to sharing content that enhances positive body image, and these accounts should be included in your feed.
8. Remember, you are Unique
In the immortal words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the theft of joy.” As cliche as this may seem, each person is unique and beautiful in their own special way. When you constantly compare yourself to others, you rob yourself of seeing the beauty you possess. Although it is fine to admire others, avoiding doing so at your expense is never healthy. You should also avoid comparing yourself to who you were some time ago. Your body, as it ages, goes through various changes, and that’s okay! Take the time to long at what makes you unique and focus on that!
Making a list of the top ten things you like about yourself is a great way to help you see all the beauty you possess and your uniqueness. You should also focus on what your body can do, such as your strengths and capabilities.
Practising body positivity is an effective way of improving your mental health, living healthily, and being happier. While it may seem daunting to view your body in a positive light, it doesn’t have to be so. Therefore, you should consider the tips above to implement the right habits. However, you should also find innovative ways of looking at your body in a more positive light today!