It’s a sad, but true fact that body image issues start at a young age for many. These tend to intensify throughout the teen years and can linger and create lasting issues throughout one’s lifetime, if not properly worked through. A negative body image can influence how one thinks, feels, and acts towards their body. An unfavorable body image can lead to numerous mental health issues, potential eating disorders, and overall, lower quality of life.
While creating a neutral or positive body image takes time and a lot of work, we’re sharing some tips to help you get started on this process. We challenge you to refuse to accept a lifetime of negative self-talk and body image. You deserve a happier and more full life than one that is focused negatively on your body.
Tips to Improve Body Image
- Strive for a positive body image, but a neutral one is a good place to start. Take note of the negative things you say about yourself and ask if you would feel comfortable saying that about someone else. In most cases, the answer is a resounding no, we are our worst critics. Whenever negative thoughts creep their way in, try to match each negative thought with either a neutral or positive thought about your body.
- Make a list of things you love about yourself that have absolutely nothing to do with how you look. If you’re a good friend, take note of it. Are you a generous person? Make a note of it. Too often, we get caught in a cycle of thinking of ourselves in one dimension, drawing conclusions based on the pant size we wear. You are so much more than simply the size of your body.
- Stop comparing your body to others. The unfortunate truth of the matter is, if you don’t learn to love yourself as is, you likely won’t love yourself, even at your goal weight. Social media can be harmful if it is full of influencers with body types that are different/slimmer than you. Go through your social accounts and unfollow/mute any accounts that make you feel bad about your body.
- Reintroduce yourself. Your body has been through your entire life with you. It has seen you through the best and the worst. It has allowed you to hug your loved ones and move through each phase of your life. It will continue to support you through your journey of self-love and acceptance. If another person were to go through all of this with you, you would think the world of them. It’s time to thank and respect your body for all of the good things it has seen you through.
Remember, you are your worst critic. Don’t get discouraged along the way to finding a more positive body image.
Avalon Hills is dedicated to helping our patients find recovery from eating disorders. To speak with an Admissions Specialist, please click here.