How you think can directly affect how you feel. Although that may seem improbable, it’s true. You should keep this in mind when you are mentally berating yourself for how you look physically. Having a positive body image is an integral part of your overall mental health.
Body image is the way you perceive yourself physically; how you interpret the reflection in the mirror that is looking back at you. If you have a negative body image, you will think that you are inferior. You may think that your looks or physique do not measure up with your peers. What’s even more unsettling, you may be comparing yourself to unrealistic or unattainable standards you perceive as being the norm in society or among family and/or friends. By comparing yourself to others and feeling like you have fallen short, you are subjecting yourself to low self-confidence which can make you feel embarrassed or ashamed.
There is a difference between having a poor body image and recognizing there are things about your physicality that you’d like to change or improve. You can come to the realization that it may be in your best interest to look into weight loss plans without telling yourself that carrying around a bit of extra weight is a negative reflection on who you are as a person.
Inversely, having a positive body image is being cognizant that how you look is not a reflection of your personality. You understand that your self-worth is not dependent upon your outward appearance. Overall, people with positive body images do not suffer from depression brought on by feeling less than their peers, nor do they subscribe to others’ notions of how they should look. It is imperative to feel comfortable in your own skin.
If any of the aforementioned sounds like you, all hope is not lost. You can take steps to improve your self-talk. One of the first things you have to do is realize that the media is not your friend. If you are constantly beating yourself up because you think there is no way you will ever look like the glamorous people parading across all forms of media, it may be time to unplug. Whereas banning all media is probably near impossible, you can make a concentrated effort to drastically reduce your exposure. By distancing yourself from the media, you can give yourself the opportunity to refocus your attention on what a healthy perception is and try to stop comparing yourself to societal ideals.
Be nice to yourself! If you are constantly only seeing the worst and telling yourself that you look hideous, sooner or later, you are going to believe the horrible things you are saying to yourself. Taking that notion a step further, if you are being unkind to yourself, chances are you may also be unkind to those around you. The human brain cannot differentiate between what it hears, says, or thinks; use that to your advantage and empower those around you instead of bringing them down. You may just benefit from the positivity you are sharing.
Stop listening to the negative talk around you and take time to focus on the positive things. Okay, so you aren’t a certain size that you wish you were; instead of letting that get you down, celebrate all the things that you are. Be proud of the things you’ve accomplished and surround yourself with people who can also celebrate the small victories with you or find joy in the smallest detail.
Beauty is not simply about appearance; true beauty comes from within. Take the time to learn how to embrace who you are, not just how you look.