How often do you feel negative about your body? Modern body image ideals can mean that many of us feel that we do not measure up to what is considered attractive, beautiful or “normal.”
Having a positive body image involves putting these ideals aside and recognizing that your own view of your body is the only one that matters. Changing your thought processes around your body image can be difficult but it can pave the way for stronger self-esteem.
Work Out What Influences Your Body Image
Have a think about how your self-esteem is affected by negative comparisons to other people. How does it make you feel when you subconsciously compare your own body to what you see in commercials and on social media?
You can also extend this to thinking about how it affects your well-being and happiness too. If you’re honest with yourself about the answers to these questions, you might find that there is a strong link between your emotions and your body image.
Once you have done this, go a step further and list the ways that your body image has been negatively influenced by the media. This can help you to realize how your self-esteem and well being is tied into negative comparisons.
Think About What Can Change If You No Longer Make Negative Comparisons
Once you have got a clearer picture of how your body image and self-esteem are linked to comparing yourself to others, you can start asking yourself how different your life could be if you avoided comparing yourself to others.
For example, you might feel less insecure, more confident and enjoy healthier relationships. This can give you the motivation to stop comparing yourself to others and enjoy a healthier body image.
Embrace Who You Are
Once you have committed to avoiding negative comparisons to other people, the next step is to embrace yourself. This can be difficult if you are used to comparing yourself to others and feeling that you come up short and it may be a work in progress for a while.
Whereas before, your appearance and behaviour may have been heavily influenced by these comparisons and a fear of being judged, embracing yourself gives you the freedom to embrace the person that you want to be.
It is likely that you will have to brush aside some negative thoughts and comparisons as you do this. If you find yourself doing this, take a step back and bring yourself back to the present. Taking a deep breath can help and you may also find it useful to create an affirmation that you can use to strengthen your commitment to embracing yourself.
An affirmation along the lines of “I appreciate myself and everything I have to offer” can work well. Whatever you choose to affirm, make sure that it is positive and in the present tense. Over time, affirmations can train your brain to believe what is being said.
Self Energy and Physical Energy
Increasing your energy level may also play a role in how you judge your body. If your body underperforms for you by prematurely fatiguing in low impact social situations, for example, then addressing that may fix how you view yourself physically. Having the energy to truly feel great about yourself may take all the energy you can muster.
Reconnect with your body, by pampering yourself once in awhile with a massage or med spa experience.
Let your spouse, family or close friends know that you are struggling with body image. Many men and women go through this, so it is important to have a positive support group around you. And, I guarantee that people very close to you are suffering with this as well. Let them know.