We all have days when we don’t feel great about ourselves, but for some people, this feeling is constant. Negative body image issues can be incredibly damaging to your self-esteem and mental health, but there are things you can do to feel better.
If you’re struggling with body image issues, please know that you’re not alone and there is help available.
You can get started by seeking professional counseling or therapy and joining a support group or online community. With time and patience, you can learn to love yourself just like you are.
Here are a few ways to feel better about yourself when you have negative body image issues:
Understand what you’re feeling. The first step to feeling better about your body is understanding why you’re feeling negative. Are you comparing yourself to others on social media? Do you feel you have to meet unrealistic standards (this is a major problem for those with body dysmorphic disorder because you’ll never actually reach that “perfect” size)? Are you upset about a recent weight gain or change in your appearance?
Once you identify the root cause of your feelings, you can work on addressing them.
Seek professional counseling or therapy. A trained therapist or counselor can help you get to the root of your body image issues and provide you with tools for working through them. They can help you pinpoint the root of your negative body image, whether that’s an eating disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, or just poor body image.
Many people find that the support of a therapist can be incredibly helpful in building a more positive body image and in allowing them to feel more confident and comfortable in their skin.
Connect with others who are struggling with body image issues as well. It can be super helpful to talk to others who understand what you’re going through, either in person or online.
Fight your negative thoughts. If you’re constantly thinking negative things about your body, it’s time to challenge those thoughts. For example, if you’re thinking “I’m so fat,” ask yourself “Is that true? “Or “Where did I get the idea that being fat is bad? “Or “What would it mean if my body was fat?”
Similarly, if you’re thinking that you need to lose weight to be happy, question this thought by asking yourself why being slimmer would make you happier.
How to fight your negative thoughts: Write your negative thoughts about your body. Once you’ve identified them, you can challenge them.
Think about what evidence there is for and against your negative thoughts. Are they based on fact or feeling? Don’t accept that all your negative thoughts are true. Question them and fight against them.
Think about how your negative thoughts make you feel. Do they make you feel bad about yourself? Anxious? Depressed? Once you identify how your negative thoughts make you feel, you can work on replacing them with more positive ones.
Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. This is easier said than done, but it’s important to think more positively about your body. For example, if you’re thinking “I’m so fat,” try to replace that thought with “My curves look goooooooood.”
Talk to your negative thoughts. When you have a negative thought about your body, talk back to it. For example, if you’re thinking “I’ll never be thin enough,” say out loud, “What does that even mean? I’m perfect how I am.”
Focus on your positive qualities. It’s easy to focus on the things you don’t like about your body, but it’s important to remember that there are also things you do like. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, both inside and out. These could be things like “I’m kind” or “I have a great ass.”
Remember that all bodies are beautiful. The media often portrays only one type of body as beautiful, but in reality, there is no “perfect” body, just different ones. Remember that every person is unique, regardless of their body shape or size.
Take care of your body. Part of feeling good about your body is taking care of it. This means eating well, getting enough exercise, drinking enough water, taking your meds, and getting enough sleep. Taking care of your body will not only make you feel better physically but also mentally and emotionally.
Focus on your health, not your weight. The number on the scale is not indicative of your worth as a person, so don’t give it too much importance. Instead, focus on being as healthy as you can be. This means eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and taking care of your mental and emotional health.
If you’re having trouble feeling good about your body, don’t lose hope. There are many things you can do to work through your body image issues and feel more confident and comfortable in your skin.
Reach out for help from a therapist or support group, fight against your negative thoughts, focus on the positive aspects of your body, and take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. With time and effort, you can feel better about yourself.
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