Advertisement

Boost your body image

Boost your body image
Shutterstock

Changing negative thoughts about your body isn’t something that happens automatically, but there are proven things you can do in as little as ten minutes that could help improve your body images. Here are some things that therapists recommend that you can do to encourage healthy, positive thoughts and healthier ways of looking at your body.

Don’t miss these things a body image coach wishes you knew.

List 10 things you like about yourself

List 10 things you like about yourself
Getty Images

Would you say the same harsh and critical things about yourself to someone else? So why do you continue to say them to yourself? Keep a top-10 list of things you like about yourself, focusing on things that aren’t related to your looks or weight. (If you find this task difficult, enlist the help of your friends or family.) “When you stop judging yourself so harshly, you begin to see your strengths, as well as your perceived flaws. Build up your self-confidence by talking nicely to yourself and by reminding yourself of everything you have to offer the world,” says psychologist, Dr Sarah Allen.

Don’t miss these simple ways to remind yourself that you’re worthy.

Try belly dancing

Try belly dancing
Shutterstock

You don’t need a certain body type to learn how to move sensually, like a belly dancer. In fact, belly dancers report having a more positive body image and less body dissatisfaction than those who have never belly danced, one study found. As it turns out, belly dancing fosters a greater sense of connection between the body, mind, and spirit, all key to maintaining a positive body image. “The belly dancers weren’t so focused on external appearance but more the internal experiences and competencies of the body,” body image expert and leader of the study, professor Marika Tiggemann said in a press release.

Challenge your thoughts

Challenge your thoughts
Getty Images

If you find yourself criticising your body while looking in the mirror, try challenging those thoughts. “It’s a very powerful experience to no longer say mean things to yourself in the mirror,” says clinical social worker. Opt instead to think of your body as a whole rather than focusing on body parts.

Check out these surprising ways to improve your body image – no dieting required.

Clean your wardrobe

Clean your wardrobe
Getty Images

Many people hang on to a wardrobe full of clothes in all different sizes. Even though they no longer fit, they may be keeping them “just in case.” Osachy urges people to clear them out, as “they keep you in a negative body image prison.” Once you get rid of them and have a wardrobe full only of clothes that fit you today, you’ll feel more beautiful and comfortable in the body you have now.

Here are some of the best ideas for organising your walk-in wardrobe.

Get grounded

Get grounded
Getty Images

It’s easy for negative thoughts about your body to spiral, but Allen has a simple grounding trick to stop the negative-thought train, slow down those adrenaline-fuelled critiques, and help you feel strong and capable in your body. “Stand up and feel that negative energy fuelled by those criticisms you are saying to yourself. Let the energy travel down from your brain, through your body and down through your legs and feet. Like roots of a tree, the energy is connecting you to the floor. Feel how strong your legs are. Feel the energy coming down your arms and out of your fingertips, shake it out,” she says. Finish by inhaling and exhaling for a count of four.

Here are some ways to stop the incredible damage of negative self-talk.

Advertisement

Exercise for the right reasons

Exercise for the right reasons
Shutterstock

Some research has found that physical activity can do wonders for our self-esteem, but how you think about and approach exercise makes a difference. “Changing our views on exercise is essential in the pursuit of loving our bodies,” says Osachy. “Listen to your body and exercise for the joy and fun of it. Focus on how good your body feels when you’re exercising,” she says. Exercise should not be a punishment.

These morning brain exercises will help clear your mind.

Start your day with a mantra

Start your day with a mantra
Getty Images

Good or bad, our brain takes in and internalises what we tell it. Use that to your advantage and tell it something good by starting the day with a positive mantra. Find a mantra that speaks to you and say it daily. “For example, saying, ‘I am more than my body. I am kind. I’m a hard worker and dedicated friend’ can be helpful when starting the day,” says eating disorders specialist, social worker Laura Fonesca. “The more we say these powerful mantras to ourselves, the easier it will be for our brain to accept and believe them.”

Check out these tricks for an instantly happier morning.

Thank you, body

Thank you, body
Shutterstock

If you spend a few minutes thinking about it, you will discover many things that you are thankful your body does for you each day. Jot down the things that you are thankful your body does for you. For example, “I am thankful that my legs allow me to walk and play with my dog.” “When you start to appreciate your body for what it can do rather than how it looks, you’ll start to develop a very different relationship with it,” notes Fonseca. Also, it’s good to acknowledge the things you don’t have to contend with such as pain or sickness.

Harness the power of social media

Harness the power of social media
Getty Images

Social media often seems like a highlight reel of everyone’s flawlessness, and in contrast, you may find yourself thinking negatively. But a 2017 study in Body Image found that what you look at on social media makes all the difference. In the study, undergraduate women looked at fitspiration or fitspo images of people exercising, inspirational quotes, or a mix of both. They found that people only looking at fitspo posts had less self-compassion, meanwhile, those who looked at inspirational quotes were not only nicer to themselves, but they felt better about their bodies, too. Psychotherapist, Annie Wright, assigns clients struggling with body image to follow Instagram pages of body-positive activists. “I encourage them to spend a few minutes looking at these pages until they feel more accepting of themselves and their self-esteem has boosted,” says Wright.

Don’t miss these ways social media can help you lose weight.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: