There are many people today who are in a long-suffering relationship with their bodies. In fact, sometimes we take an innocent comment from a friend too seriously that we start to beat ourselves up every time we gain a few pounds. Many of us decide to go on a crash diet but will eventually cheat on that diet which throws our bodies into binge eating, malnutrition, and other eating disorders.
Well, poor body image is an issue that a lot of people struggle with. But imagine what life would be like if you stood in front of the mirror and focused on what you love about yourself instead of what you wish you could change? However, no matter how many articles and books we read that tell us it’s what’s on the inside that counts, standing in front of a mirror can easily make a person feel defeated. It is because body image, how we do and should look, encloses us.
Body image and self-esteem are usually related to one another. Body image is how you picture yourself mentally. How you look like and how you perceive it to look. Self-esteem, on the other hand, is the true opinion that you have of yourself and how you respect yourself as a person. Therefore, if you hate your body, it will be difficult for you to feel good about yourself. Aside from that, it can also be challenging for a person to take care of his body if he has a poor opinion of himself.
If you’re one of the people who do not like your body image and you have low self-esteem because of it, you don’t have to worry because we’re here to help. Today, we are going to give you different ways on how you can improve your body image and self-esteem.
1. Create a List of the Things You Like About Yourself
One step you can take to improve your body image and self-esteem is to create a list of the things you like about yourself. List 10 things first but do not refer to your body or appearance in any way. What you can include in your list are the things you’re good at, or the different ways you’re proud of yourself. After this, make another list of 10 things you like and this time, about your body and appearance. This will depend on your level of self-loathing. It can be challenging to do at first but just do your best. You can also add to the list later when you think of more things you like.
2. Break Bad External Mental and Verbal Habits
This is a simple thing to do but can be challenging for some people, depending on how embedded they are into your mindset. It takes discipline and practice to incorporate this into your daily routine. To be able to do this, try to avoid relationships where the other person makes unflattering comments about your appearance, and also avoid people who try to pressure you about your body.
At the same time, you should also avoid judging other people based on their appearance. When you become disciplined, those thoughts would be eliminated as soon as they arise. Instead of noticing how people look, you can focus on what they say, how they act, and how they treat others. For one week, try to avoid all comments about other people’s physical appearance. Then do it for a month. It will eventually lead to healthy habits for your mindset and approach to body image.
3. Take Care of Your Body Gently
Imagine the last time you got a haircut and how the hairdresser massaged your hair. Or maybe the last time you went to the spa and how the treatment went. Touch is a powerful way of emphasizing the way you feel about your body. If you take care of your body and touch it with love and care, you will feel incredible. Therefore, you should try to practice gentle love and care with yourself as well. When you wash your hair, do it as gently as the hairdresser did. When you wash your face, do it the way a beauty therapist would. These will reinforce a positive, kind relationship with your body.
4. Admire Successful People and Not Slender Ones
Try to think of your role models in life and then ask yourself why you admire them. Do you like them because they have a pretty face, nice clothes, and slender body, or because they are intelligent and you respect them who they are on the inside? When you admire successful people and you surround yourself with people like them, your focus can be shifted away from outer appearances. Try to look at what’s inside of a successful person you admire and you’ll understand why you admire them so much.
5. Eat Healthily
Do not feel guilty about what you’ve been eating. Instead, start eating right by nourishing your body with healthy foods. Try to eat foods like veggies, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and nuts and try to limit yourself from eating too many sweets and unhealthy fats. Slow down on processed foods as well and stick to whole natural foods.
6. Love Exercise
Exercise is not necessarily just for weight loss, therefore, everybody should exercise. Regular exercise can improve our health and it benefits the rest of the body. It can increase muscle endurance, circulation, and overall body health. If you do not like going to the gym to exercise, you can do other activities as well. Just stay active because it is a great way to give back to your body.
7. Do Not Depend on Others for Confidence Boosts
You can accept compliments from other people, but this should not be your main source of confidence. Confidence should ultimately come from within you. It’s really nice to have reassurance from other people that you look great, but it’s better to look and feel good from within.
8. Keep in Mind that Nobody is Perfect
There’s no person who is 100 percent flawless. It’s because perfection is more of an idea than a reality. Meaning, if you aim for perfection, it will only let you down. Whenever you look at magazines and Instagram for example, keep in mind that almost everything you see there is edited.
9. Do Not Be Preoccupied with Social Media
Social media use is linked to low self-esteem that’s why you should not get caught up in it. If you want to improve your self-esteem, make a conscious effort to go on your social media apps less. If you are feeling really down about yourself, maybe it’s better to delete these apps from your phone for two days and do a social media cleanse.
10. Find Your Purpose
This is also important in improving your body image and self-esteem. It’s because people who have purpose are too busy to get things done to worry about how they look. At the end of the day, what’s more satisfying is having creative expression, effective leadership, and more skills to make yourself a better person compared to making sure you look good in an outfit at all times.
These are the 10 ways you can follow to improve your body image and self-esteem. Always remember that having a positive body image is a habit and not an attribute. When you make progress in areas that you know are important to you, you will be able to boost your self-esteem as well. And when your self-esteem increases, your body image will definitely follow as well. If you want to read more about self-improvement, you can check out our post on the Top 20 Best Self Help Books for options.