We all have an image of our own body and it is often just below the surface of our consciousness. This image may come to our conscious attention when we look in the mirror, get dressed or take a shower, but it is also with us all day long. If your body image is not a healthy one it may be affecting your life in far reaching ways that you are not even aware of. Find out how to uplift your body image for a happier life.
Your Body Image
Take a moment to think about your body image. Write down what you think of your body overall and also specifically. What do you like? Of which parts are you critical? Why and how did those opinions develop? Are they fair assessments?
How Your Body Image Silently Affects Your Life
How you feel about your body affects your life in ways you probably don’t realize.
- You feel that you are more fleshy than you would like. You go out with some friends and since you are uncomfortable with how you feel you go home early missing out on having a fun time.
- You feel insecure about a part of your body. Your husband never comments positively about this part of your body and is not aware of your insecurity. You misread his lack of positive comments as a signal that he doesn’t like your body. You become more self-conscious about being intimate and this negatively affects your relationship.
- You feel insecure about your body and often have negative judgments in your mind about it. You go to a business meeting and because of your insecurities you lack the full confidence to meet new people and make good business connections.
- You go to the grocery store. It’s hot, humid, and your clothes are sticking to you. Already in an agitated mood, your self-consciousness about your body lowers your mood and you get into an argument with a store clerk further lowering your mood and leading to other negative interactions with others later in the day.
These are just a few examples. How you feel about your body is important to a happy life. So what should you do if you feel badly about your body?
How to Improve Your Body Image
- Begin at the beginning. Give yourself permission to like yourself. This is huge. This one step alone can make a remarkable difference. Think about why you might not feel allowed to like your body. Whose rules are those? Why not write your own rules. Why not choose to love yourself right here, right now, just the way you are. You have permission to do this. Take it and run with it.
- Start small. Find something about your body that you like. Think outside the lines of standard cultural rules on body beauty. Example, maybe your skin feels soft. Think about what it is like between the sheets when the lights are off. Why not give more value to feel vs. appearance? How about function. What do you like about what your body can do? There is infinite possibility here of the positive things your body does for you, from being able to walk, to see, to draw, to read, to cook, to swim, to dance, and so many more. Focus on the strength of your body. And when it comes to appearance, be more accepting. Appreciate your curves if you have them. Appreciate your muscles. Know that exactly the way you are, you are already desirable.
- Meditate on this mantra. My body is not who I am. I am more than my body. My body will fade away someday, but my spirit remains true eternally. My true beauty does not stem from my body. My beauty stems from my spirit, my character, my actions, my kindness, my patience, my compassion, my confidence, my humor, my smile, my joy, and so much more.
- Take some time to write down your responses to these three suggestions.
- Take time each morning to recite some positive affirmations about your body and more importantly about who you are at your core.
You have permission to love yourself starting right now! Here is to your joy! You are a beauty! Embrace it!