When it comes to body image,there is no right or wrong when it comes to weight, shape, size and appearance. Challenging beauty ideals and learning to accept your body shape is a crucial step towards positive body image. We have been fed garbage throughout the years on what a ‘perfect body’ should look like. This is what has influenced our perception of our bodies and this perception has shaped our choices.
We have the power to change the way we see, feel and think about our bodies. When we choose to see more than what we have been told about our bodies, we can be,live and give more. We are much more than these physical temples or vessels. We are persons who are essentially Spirit and possess souls. When we begin to appreciate ourselves from that vantage point, we loose sight of all man imposed objectification. We appreciate everyone first because we all deserve to be respected and loved.
Here are some helpful tips to improve your body image:
Focus on what you like about your body.
Identifying your best features may help you to develop a more positive body image. Take a few moments today to look at yourself in the mirror and identify your favorite features of your body.You might say for example like myself, “I really love my eyes.” When you dwell on this intentionally, you will begin feeling better about your body.
Pay attention to the diversity of body types in the world.
Bodies come in many different shapes and sizes. Paying attention to the diversity of bodies may help you to see the beauty in your own unique body shape and size as well. Note the shapes, sizes, colors, and others features of people’s bodies. View other people’s bodies with an open, non-judgmental mind. Do not attach labels, just observe so that you can begin to see how many different types of bodies there are. Don’t compare yourself to others as you observe other body types.
Take notice of all of the things your body can do.
You can improve your body image by focusing more on what it can do instead of what it looks like. Even if you are not athletic, think about how you use your body every day. Simply observe that you use your body to hug your family and friends, to breathe in, and to smile.Make a list of all the things that your body can do. Look at it when you begin to focus too much on what your body looks like.Try out a new physical activity to discover more ways that you can use your body.I will recommend you try swimming, or a dance class or walking.
Use your mirror to improve your body image.
While your mirror may also be a tool for you to criticize your body, you can learn to use your mirror to improve your body image. Every time you look at yourself in the mirror, identify something that you like about your body and say it out loud.For example, i will say, “I like the way my legs stand out in this dress and shoes. If you don’t enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror, you can still do this. Just stand in front of the mirror, look at yourself, and say, “You’re beautiful!” Say it like you mean it even if you don’t believe it yet. Repeat this daily until you become more comfortable with looking at yourself and noticing things that you like about your body.
Say positive things to yourself.
If you have a poor body image, you may be used to saying negative things to yourself. Changing the way that you speak to yourself will help to improve your perception of your body. The next time you have a negative thought about your body, contradict it. For example, if you catch yourself thinking something like, “I am fat and ugly and no one likes me,” turn it around. Say to yourself, “I have pretty eyes and hair and I am a trusted friend.” Contradicting yourself may be hard at first, but the more that you practice, the easier it will become.
Post body-positive affirmations around you.
Little reminders placed all around you may also help improve your body image.The more you see these positive messages about your body, the more you will start to believe them. Some things you might write include, “You are beautiful!” “Your body is powerful!” or “You have a wonderful smile!” Use your imagination to come up with body-positive messages that you want to hear.
Limit your media exposure.
Constant exposure to images of perfect bodies and messages about how you are imperfect will have a negative impact on your body image. Magazines, television, and many websites include these types of images and messages, so do your best to avoid them while you work on improving your body image. Try to keep your media exposure to a minimum or even go on a media fast, where you steer clear of all forms of media for a day or more.
Surround yourself with positive people.
Other people can also have a big impact on the way that you see yourself. If you have fallen into a group of friends who often criticize your body or their own bodies, it may be time for a change. You can also try talking to your friends about their negative comments. Join support group. There are several of them now on Facebook, in our communities etc. I will recommend the group that gave me a voice ; www.worldpulse.com, an online platform for women empowering and supporting women.
Be supportive of other people.
As you work to transform your own body image into a more positive one, you can also help others to do the same. You can support your friends by making positive comments to them and striving to be a role model. Do and say things that reflect your own positive body image and build up others as well.
Try them out and we will be glad to know which one worked for you.
Do leave your thoughts in the comments below.