If you’re feeling insecure about your body, you’re not alone. In a world full of flawlessly filtered Instagram posts and airbrushed models, maintaining a positive sense of self isn’t always easy. However, fostering a good body image is one of the best things we can do for both our mental and physical health. The more you love your body, the more you’ll want to take care of it, and treat it with the love it deserves — and the better you treat it, the more you’ll love it! — and on and on it goes. Now that’s a cycle we want to get into!
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Here are our top five tips for feeling good about the skin you’re in.
Ditch The Comparisons
Who hasn’t compared themselves to a friend, co-worker, or a celebrity and wished they looked like them? It’s easy to fall into a cycle of negativity when you’re comparing yourself to others. comparisons aren’t just pointless — there will always be someone out there who has something you envy — they’re destructive. The world would be rather boring if we all looked alike don’t you think? The fact of the matter is, everyone has their flaws, even those seemingly flawless celebrities, and just because they aren’t obvious to you, doesn’t mean that they’re perfect, either. If we are constantly looking and comparing ourselves to others, we will never feel secure. The only person we can compare ourselves to is ourselves and who we were yesterday. Remembering how far you’ve come — rather than comparing yourself to others —can offer an incredible boost of self-confidence and you’ll be able to appreciate your fabulous self more easily.
Make Time For Self-Care
Repeat after us: You are worthy of self-love. When you take time to take care for yourself, you’ll feel better and appreciate yourself more, which translates into having a better body image. Self-care can take many forms: it could mean hitting the gym, unwinding at the end of the day with a warm bath, or giving your self-esteem a little boost with a new product that makes your hair look great. When you take the time to do something nice for yourself, you tell yourself that you’re worth that time and effort.
Focus On Your Strengths
Everyone has their favourite feature/features, so find yours and play them up! If you have beautiful eyes, invest in that great mascara that makes them pop. Love your freckles? Don’t cover them up, but feel free to show off your bare face in all their glory. It doesn’t have to be just a physical attribute, either. Do friends say you’re funny or generally great to be around? Maybe you’re the life of the party, or perhaps you’re amazing in a crisis. No matter what they are, make a list and re-read it whenever you’re feeling low. Remind yourself often of your good features and the things you truly love about yourself. It’s much easier to feel confident and happy when you know what makes you special.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
The people we surround ourselves with influence how we behave, and our general attitude towards life. If you spend time with negative people, you’ll inevitably become more negative. Fortunately, you can control who you spend time with and the kinds of people you allow into your life. Replace toxic energy with people who are more fulfilled and positive. Surround yourself with go-getters, positive thinkers, doers and inspirational friends and family. The more time you spend with positive people, the more you’ll adopt their attitude.
Ignore Media Messages
Advertising agencies love to sell us an idea of perfection, but that “perfect” image you see on billboards or ads on the internet, TV or in magazines isn’t unattainable for anyone (not even the models in the ads). Start viewing ads with a critical eye and recognize that media messages are distorted. Most importantly, embrace your differences.
Real perfection is terribly boring; the real fun in being human and is having imperfections and not being perfect. Perfect is being a different size than the person next to you, but still being healthy, confident and comfortable in your skin. Don’t let someone else tell you what perfect is for you, because you’re perfect just the way you are — flaws and all.
Nobody feels 100% body positive all the time, but with the right attitude, you can learn to feel more secure about the way you look, and your newfound confidence will carry over into other areas of your life. Take care of yourself, take care of your body, and be gentle with yourself. You are the greatest friend you will ever have, so love yourself accordingly.