Through the years, society has been the deciding factor of what makes someone look good or bad. From big butts and small waists to extreme abs or wearing your hair a certain way, our appearances face constant criticism.
With the addition of social media, body image has become a real problem. An article by DoSomething.org shows that 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting.
As body image and overall self-esteem become a bigger problem, having tips to combat those negative thoughts is crucial. Keep reading for some ways to have a better mindset about your body.
1. Take a social media break
The unrealistic body standards set by people who don’t show the honest reality of how they achieved the “perfect body” can leave you feeling down if you don’t look like them after taking their tips. Approximately only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media, says DoSomething.org. Taking a social media break will give you some much-needed time away from pictures and videos that may influence you to feel rather negatively about your body. Set some time aside where you unplug from social media, and do something that’s better for your self-esteem like pampering yourself.
When you come back from your social media break make sure you set up your social media in a way that’s geared towards positivity. Meaning that you unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself and follow accounts that uplift you instead. Additionally, only like and comment on videos that are conducive to helping you feel confident about yourself. That way, your explore page and ads are geared towards things that make you happy.
2. Read helpful books & talk to others
Since body image is becoming a common issue, more individuals are speaking up about their struggles. It can feel lonely at times as if you’re the only one struggling, but you’d be surprised how many people face the same issues as you! You may benefit from hearing the stories of people who have had to overcome a similar situation to yours—having insight into things that did or didn’t help them can help you on your journey of self-love.
There’s a ton of reading material out there for you to explore, so using a site like Goodreads can help you find your next book. With this platform, you can also find communities that are interested in the same topics as you to discuss your thoughts.
3. See a professional
Having a low opinion of yourself for a long time can severely impact your mental health, and sometimes no amount of advice from friends and family can make you feel better. At times, it can actually do more damage than good depending on what the “advice” is. Hearing “But you look good” isn’t always the most effective advice for someone who isn’t satisfied with their body image.
That’s why if you struggle with body image heavily, you may benefit from joining an online therapy session. This will give you access to professional advice and help you work through your feelings about your body. Aside from improving body image, a professional can also help you set goals to better your mental well-being and improve your overall health.
4. Set goals & work towards them
Setting goals can help you if you’re experiencing body image problems. Depending on where you are at, create a few things that you’d like to accomplish. They don’t have to be huge goals. Start small and keep them relatively attainable, so you don’t get discouraged if you don’t meet the goal within the designated time frame.
Your goals don’t necessarily have to be something regarding weight loss or gain either. The focus of your goals should be to adopt healthier lifestyle habits. For example, starting a new hobby that promotes good health like hiking or deciding to eat healthier foods can help. These are attainable goals that won’t put unhealthy pressure on you. If you need some support to jumpstart your healthy goals, check out our wellness offerings at Swellness Coaching.
Please keep in mind that you should only be setting goals for things that you want to change for yourself. Your body is no one else’s business. If you want to change, then change for yourself, not for others. If you’re happy with your body the way it is, keep it that way.
Body positivity books to check out:
- Body Positive Power– Megan Jayne Crabbe
- The Beauty Myth– Naomi Wolf
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