How you perceive your physical appearance and what you think others think of you directly impact how you feel about your own body image.
And negative influences – comments from others and body image stereotypes portrayed in the media – worsen it, making you feel even more insecure, self-conscious, depressed, and miserable.
Luckily, what you believe to be true about your own body (and what a perfect body is supposed to look like) can be changed relatively easily.
To create a positive body image for yourself, here’s what you need to know:
- Developing a Positive Body Image
- How to Build Self-Esteem And Emotional Resilience
- The 5-Minute Mirror Exercise for a Positive Body Image
With a positive body image, you can show up with greater confidence and joy.
Developing a Positive Body Image
So, when have you finally decided it’s time to do something about it and want to create a positive body image for yourself, you’re going to come up against:
And to deal with these three key areas, you will need a change in attitude, greater self-esteem, and emotional resilience.
Unfortunately, the way people perceive and judge you, at first, is through your appearance. They instantly form an opinion of you in their minds, and because you’re not sure what it is, you start to criticize and judge yourself for not being perfect; that is if you have low self-esteem.
Being highly critical or judgmental about yourself will increase the likelihood of developing a negative attitude about yourself. So, changing your attitude about how you treat yourself and your thoughts is vital.
You need to build emotional resilience to be able to maintain a healthy connection to your feelings, thoughts, and desires while engaging with others and maintaining your self-confidence.
How to Build Self-Esteem and Emotional Resilience
It’s all about making yourself feel good. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that make you more beautiful -regardless of your appearance.
To form a habit of making yourself feel good, do the following:
1. Appreciate all that your body can do and still will do in future
Change your attitude towards it and start to believe and realize that your body carries you closer to your dreams every day. Celebrate all the amazing things your body does for you, the recharging walks through nature, the dancing in the rain, the laughing with friends, the wonder of creation no matter in what form it came.
This will greatly help to create a positive body image for yourself.
2. Jot down a top-ten list of things you really like about yourself
Anything you can think of. It doesn’t need to be related to your body, but it is still about you, your personality, your talents, and your skills, all of which are part of your body. Read it every day until you don’t have to anymore.
3. Explore clothing that helps you feel comfortable and beautiful
Find clothing that suits who you are; if you can’t find it in-store, design clothing for yourself and get a tailor. Commercialized clothing sizes only make you feel miserable, so start your own range. Clothing should be tailored to suit your body type, not you having to fit into a certain clothing design.
4. Surround yourself with positive, healthy, accepting 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.
5. Become critical of the social and media messages you allow into your life
Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages by writing counterarguments against them to reframe them in a more positive way that suits you.
6. Do something nice for yourself every week
Something that lets your body know you appreciate it, like a massage, a bubble bath, long naps, peaceful places in beautiful environments to relax, and only choose healthy beauty products to use on your body.
7. Do good and serve others
Use the time and energy you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and weight to do something good for others. Sometimes reaching out to others can help you feel better about yourself and make a positive change in our world.
The 5-Minute Mirror Exercise for a Positive Body Image
Stand in front of the mirror. Look at yourself thoroughly. Choose not to focus on specific body parts and see yourself as others see you – as a whole person. Look into your own eyes for a long time, and say I love you.
Then, look at each individual part and start to speak only positive things about it. If there’s anything bothering you so much that you really can’t look at yourself in the mirror, like if you feel you are too fat, then you owe it to yourself to do something about it right away.
Stop moping about it, and derive a clear plan with action steps to achieve this new goal. If you feel you are too fat, make a solid plan to lose weight and do it.
On top of everything else, though, take the time to really praise and worship your sacred body. It is your vehicle in this life, and for all of the magic that it creates every day, just by holding your soul in this time-space reality.
Praise yourself. Praise your body. Praise every little, last part of you; the praise will always work it’s way back to your body. What goes around, comes around. Below is a wonderful video by Britain’s #1 therapist, Marisa Peer, on why we should be praising ourselves, every day; it’s worth a watch.