Boosting body image
Creating more body satisfaction, acceptance, self-confidence, self-love, or even body neutrality will look and feel different for everyone. Moving to a place where you can appreciate your body is an individual journey, but there is support for you along the way.
Helpful tips to creating healthy body image
What works for one person, may not work as well for someone else. Keeping an open mind, experimenting, and finding what works for you will help you improve your relationship with your body and appearance.
Some simple things you can try include:
- Understanding and challenging society’s manufactured and constantly changing ideals of beauty: Our bodies are vessels for us to function, enjoy, and do amazing things.
- Limit your exposure to highly stylised and flawless images of fitness, beauty and appearance: These can increase feelings of body inadequacy and dissatisfaction.
- Diversify what you see: You can control and curate what appears in your social media feeds. Follow people and pages that make you feel good about yourself and your body.
- Resist the temptation to engage or buy from the diet industry: The diet industry’s business model is based on manipulating your body image concerns.
- See and value yourself as a whole person: Your qualities, talents, strengths and attributes (and yes, you have lots of these) make you who you are. Celebrate and nurture the things that make you, you.
- Create strong and affirming positive statements: These can be powerful weapons to combat unhelpful body comparisons. Some you might like to try include, “I am enough”, “My body is great”, “I am more than my body”, “I am worthy as I am” and “I don’t need to change a thing about myself”.
- Focus on your body function: You’re more than your shape or form.
- Practice body gratitude: What you’re grateful for that your body can do.
- Be media savvy: Practice critical thinking of media and social media messages. Remember, what you see might not even be real. Images are often digitally enhanced with editing and filters, which can trigger body insecurities. This is used by advertisers to sell us stuff.
- Combat unhelpful and toxic negative body and appearance talk: Toxic body/diet/appearance talk and dialogue destroy body confidence. Shut it down by using strong words or statements; “Stop”, “That’s enough” or even “Can we talk about something else?”
- Reduce unhelpful and unnecessary body comparisons: It’s unfair and unhelpful to body compare.
- Move and nourish your body in ways that make you feel good: Move and eat for health gains, enjoyment and to improve mental health (instead of for weight or muscularity change).
- Nurture your whole self: Practice body kindness, mindfulness, and self-care. What works for you?
- Be realistic: No one feels great about their body all of the time. Poor body image moments happen; it’s only important we don’t respond to negative feelings with unhelpful behaviours.
- Allow time to heal: Learning to respect and appreciate your body for what it is/ isn’t, how it looks, what it can and cannot do, takes time. Do your best to be kind to your body in its moments of discomfort and dissatisfaction. Your body is not a problem to fix.