Ten Steps to Positive Body Image
One list cannot automatically tell you how to turn
negative body thoughts into positive body image, but it can help you think about
new ways of looking more healthfully and happily at yourself and your body. The
more you do that, the more likely you are to feel good about who you are and the
body you naturally have.
Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to
your dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you - -
running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
2. Keep a top-10 list of things you like
about yourself - - things that aren't related to how much you weigh or what you
look like. Read your list often, add to it as you become aware of more things to
like about you.
3. Remind yourself
that "true beauty" is not simply skin-deep. When you feel good about yourself
and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance,
and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look
like a supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.
4. Look at yourself as a whole person.
When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on
specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you - - as a whole
5. Surround yourself with
positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you
are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking
yourself just as you naturally are.
6. Shut down those voices in your head
that tell you your body is not "right" or that you are a "bad" person. You can
overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to
tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that
work for you.
7. Wear clothes that
are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work with your
body, not against it.
8. Become a
critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans,
or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these
messages: write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message.
9. Do something nice for yourself
- - something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath,
make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.
10. Use the time and energy that you might have spent
worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others.
Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself
and can make a positive change in our world.