How you perceive your body is a big deal to just about everybody. Body image is more than just perception; it also has much to do with the emotional and physical parts of our bodies. Our body image is susceptible to change, sensitive to mood changes and reacts differently with environmental and physical experiences. Although men also have problems with body image, it is more common among women and especially teenage girls. The media has given women a false sense of body image. We are given negative messages through magazines, newspapers, and television. The quest for the “perfect body” seems to be the pursuit of women and young girls but what the messages do not tell them is that they can not obtain the perfect body they are seeing in advertisements without starvation and self abuse, not to mention airbrushing. Women come in all different shapes, all different sizes and it can often be hard to see ourselves as more than what we may see in the mirror physically. It is important that we learn how to love ourselves; inside and out. If you are someone who does not see yourself as you should, then here are some tips for improving your body image.
1.Positive affirmations. You may have heard the saying “you are what you think”; it is very true. If you have ever met someone who carries themselves with confidence; they have a secure sense of identity and you can see it as you walk with them; talk with them; or pass them by on the streets. They believe in themselves. If you want to start feeling better about who you really are, then start telling it to yourself. It has been proven that if you tell yourself the same thing over and over again for thirty days or more that you will actually start believing it. Choose something about yourself that you like and make it into a positive affirmation. For example, “You are a great piano player.” Repeat this to yourself out loud every day and you will soon begin to believe it. Positive affirmations really do work.
2.Don’t weigh yourself. Weight does not determine who you are; nor should it determine how you feel about yourself. Just because your best friend is the same height as you but weighs less, does not mean you should look the same way. Bodies were made to be different and every body type will weigh differently. Instead, try to focus all that energy into how you want your body to move and feel.
3.Watch what you eat. When I say “watch” I do not mean to count every single calorie going into your mouth and stomach. Watching what you eat just simply means to notice the food you are eating. You know if you are eating something that won’t sit well in your stomach; if you have eaten too many sweets. Your body always knows when to stop; so just stop or try replacing sweets with something a little more healthy.
4.Try meditation. Some people find that meditating can really relax them and take some stress away. And stress can play a big part in determining how you feel about yourself. When you can feel connected with your body, you will move farther away from that part of your body that tends to criticize.
5.Use your wardrobe. Try to find clothes that will compliment the shape that your body is; not the shape of the body you wish it was. Here are some general fashion tips to help improve the look of your body:
Go monochrome- fashion stylists tell us that wearing two different colors breaks the body in half and wearing a lighter color on the bottom will make you look bottom heavy. One dark color will give a longer leaner look. If you must wear two colors be sure the dark color is on the bottom and the lighter is on the top or wear different shades of the same color.
Skirts- if you are wearing a skirt you will do well to remember that it should be longer rather than wide. Full skirts should be long; strait skirts short; hem lines look much better if they reach the bottom part of your calf; longer skirts can make you look older than you are; and avoid pleats if you do not want to look bottom heavy.
Pants- wide bottom pants make you look bigger than you are; straight legged pants with pockets are a better choice.
6.Be Active. Exercise can do wonders for your body image. You do not have to go out and try to become a professional athlete, just be active. Run, walk, play a sport, whatever you like to do. Exercise has also been proven to help with depression.
7.Take baby steps. If you are trying to make the outside of your body more attractive to you, then take baby steps. Work on one part at a time. Say you want to have toned arms. Then focus on that area more than the others until you have reached your goal.
Body image is not just about your physical appearance; it is not just about what you look like. You need to feel good about yourself inside in order to be that confident person you want to be. Please keep in mind that people around you love you for who you are not for what your body looks like. Hopefully these tips for improving your body image will help you on your quest for a better you.