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How To Be Kinder To Yourself When You Don’t Like Your Body

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How To Be Kinder To Yourself When You Don’t Like Your Body

This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

In a world inundated with messages about what bodies should look like, it’s not uncommon for people to find themselves trapped in a cycle of negative self-talk or dissatisfaction with their physical appearance.

If you’re one of those people – know that you’re not alone. From Hollywood beauty standards to social media trends, it’s hard to be an empowered and confident woman in today’s world. It can be easy to start to feel like you’re not good enough and for those thoughts to develop into deep, permanent self-loathing.

However, having a negative self-image can affect your mental health and overall wellbeing. It can suck the joy out of life and make it difficult to enjoy the good things. Learning to be kinder to yourself is an important step towards healing and self-acceptance.

In this blog, we’re sharing six common strategies for addressing negative body image to live a happier, more fulfilling life.

What Causes Body Image Issues? 

Body image issues can be caused by a complex mix of factors, including societal and media pressures, personal experiences, and psychological predispositions. Constant exposure to idealized body types in media can set unrealistic standards, while personal experiences like bullying or critical comments about your appearance can deeply impact your self-esteem.

Additionally, mental health issues like OCD, anxiety, and depression can exacerbate negative feelings about your body. If you’re not sure if you have an underlying mental health issue, you might need a mental health test. To learn more about what that entails, check out this resource from BetterHelp.

6 Strategies For Dealing With Negative Body Image

Here are some ways to start battling that inner-critic and make peace with your body.

  1. Challenge Negative Thoughts – Begin by identifying and challenging your critical inner voice. When you catch yourself thinking negatively about your body, pause and ask if you would speak to someone you love in the same way. Challenging these thoughts and replacing them with neutral or positive affirmations can gradually shift your mindset.
  2. Limit Your Exposure to Toxic Media – Be mindful about the media you consume. If certain social media accounts or magazines make you feel bad about your body, it’s time to unfollow or put them aside. Look for content that celebrates body diversity and promotes a positive body image.
  3. Practice Self-Care – Self-care is about more than bubble baths and face masks; it’s about taking care of your body’s needs. This can include nourishing it with healthy foods, engaging in physical activities you enjoy, and getting enough rest. Listen to your body and respond to its needs with kindness.
  4. Focus on Non-Appearance-Related Goals – Change your focus from how your body looks to what it can do. Set goals unrelated to your appearance, like running a certain distance, learning a new skill, or practicing meditation. Celebrating these achievements can boost self-esteem and reduce the focus on your physical appearance.
  5. Seek Support – Remember, you’re not alone in feeling this way. Talking to friends, family, or a therapist about your feelings can provide support and perspective. Sometimes, just knowing that others share your experience can be comforting.
  6. Mindfulness and Gratitude – Practicing mindfulness can help you live presently and reduce negative thoughts about your body. Additionally, keeping a gratitude journal focused on what you appreciate about your body’s functionality can foster a sense of thankfulness and acceptance.

Takeaway 

Changing the way you see and treat your body takes time and patience. It’s a journey of small steps towards self-love and acceptance. By implementing strategies to combat negative body image, you can start to be kinder to yourself. Remember, your worth is not defined by how you look. Learning to embrace this can open the door to a healthier relationship with your body and yourself.



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