We live in a day and age in which almost every inch of our bodies is put underneath a microscope. Social media has been linked time and time again to decreasing social health and a decrease in confidence. I think we can all agree that outrageous beauty standards have caused people to become more obsessed with their body which in turn is causing more people to develop a negative body image. I myself have struggled with it as have millions of others. With so much pressure on keeping your mental health positive an important aspect of that, many may choose to ignore, is body image. So I’ve decided to write some tips for you to hopefully help you maintain a positive body image.
Stop Comparing Yourself
One thing that I struggled with is comparing my body with others. Almost every form of media you look at the beauty standard is almost always unattainable without plastic surgery or other enhancers. It gets so easy to get into the habit of looking at someone who has a body different to you and picking out what you like about theirs and naturally what you dislike about yours. This type of analysis only serves to help put yourself down. Instead I would recommend that you work on accepting your own body. Your body isn’t ugly, it is simply you. Nobody else can be you. In fact nobody else is you. Be conscious of what you are doing the next time you admire someone and then your thoughts start to trail off into self critique. Create a little affirmation that helps when you are feeling particularly negative about your body. This can be anything you want but make sure it is specific to you and embrace the parts of you that you like.
Fall In Love With You
Another thing that really helps is self-appreciation. Instead of nitpicking or trying to focus on negatives the next time you look into the mirror, show appreciation and focus on things you like about yourself. If your body image is so negative that you can’t find something you do like about yourself, why not try picking out non-physical traits? Anything positive you can say, say it. Being positive about yourself goes a long way and recognising things about yourself that you like can help to prevent those negative thoughts.
Make Sure You Like What You’re Wearing
Wearing clothes that make you happy is also another tip that can really help. Sometimes the only person telling you that you cannot wear a certain outfit or look a certain way is you. Work with your body not against it and any clothing that makes you feel comfortable and happy whilst you’re wearing it is good clothing. Remember money doesn’t buy style. You can look beautiful in clothes without having to break the bank.
Beauty Is Deeper Than Skin
Another thing I struggled with was self-deprecating comments. Sometimes you can be feeling really bad about yourself and due to the way you feel it’s very easy to just start ripping into yourself. I’ve had to learn that not only does this promote a negative body image but it also promotes the thought that beauty itself is skin-deep, which as we all know is not the truth. Try to prevent yourself from saying negative comments and instead try to analyse aspects of your character. I know it sounds easier than it is and it can be hard to maintain that image of yourself, however it is necessary if you want to stop thinking like that and have a better image of yourself.
One extremely helpful tip that was given to me by my friend was that you should always do something that makes you feel good. I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I used to cancel going out with friends as I didn’t feel good about my body. Whilst life is so much deeper than looking good, the way you look can heavily dictate how you feel and your mood so the only way to prevent that is to do something that takes your mind away from it and that you enjoy. This can be anything you want, it’s your choice.
Find Peace Within Yourself
As a Muslim I believe religion can play a big role in establishing self worth. Not only does the Qu’ran teach us how to live, it also teaches self worth. By reading and praying it helped to teach me how to accept myself. Many of us forget that Allah has created all of us in his own vision and therefore if you were designed like that by Allah himself, you are perfect in your own way. A quote that always helps me is “We created man in the best design” Qu’ran 95:4. Not only were we designed this way, but we were created to be unique. To hold yourself to standards that the media withhold people to instead of accepting the way your creator has made you is an issue that only reading and understanding the Qu’ran can help quash.
Body positivity is a big aspect of mental health that people sometimes forget about. Body dysmorphia affects millions across the globe and can have such an impact on how someone lives. If you or someone you know is suffering from body dysmorphia or a negative physical image make sure you seek proper help as nobody deserves to feel bad about the way they look. I hope these tips have helped out a little bit to anybody who needed them.
How do you stay positive about your body image? Let us know in the comments!
I am passionate about keeping fit while enjoying the food I love with my family. I am a busy mum of two, trying my best to use the power of exercise to help me stay fit both physically and mentally. Always trying new exercises and getting my kids involved. I try my best to always keep to a simple exercise routine. I am a firm believer that we all can make a little time for ourselves if we want to.