There can be many factors that can affect our body image - social media, opinions of others, family environment, and more.
Whatever the influence is, it is in our power to change how we perceive it and how we act towards it. We are capable of changing negative habits by replacing them with good ones, and we are capable of truly loving ourselves.
If you have been struggling with negative body image, or you have just started your journey towards positive body image these are the habits you should get rid of.
Photo by cottonbro
1. Focusing on changing your appearance rather than doing the inner work.
You have probably heard the term ''Glow up''. It often is being represented as the result of a massive change in an appearance. But the truth is, the real power comes from doing the inner work. I don't think people address it enough.
We can look however we desire to look like, but if we haven't worked with our perceptions and habits, we still can feel negative about ourselves and our bodies. That's why it is important to work on our negative perceptions, and habits that negatively influence our body image so that we can replace them with positive ones.
2. Setting unrealistic body goals.
When starting your journey towards self-love, it is important to not set someone else's body as a body goal you aspire to achieve. It is impossible to achieve the same body as someone else because we all have unique bodies.
Instead, work on doing what makes you and your body genuinely feel good. Start embracing yourself and your body on your terms.
Photo by cottonbro
3. Negative self-talk.
This might be the hardest habit to replace, but the one with the most effective results when it comes to improving your body image. One of the ways how to deal with it positively - whenever you have a negative thought about yourself, practice to replace it with 1-2 positive ones. It is not easy, but it has great potential.
In the book ''The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom'' there was something that truly caught my attention speaking of how and why we talk to ourselves the way we do. Validation plays a huge role in it.
Throughout our lives, we have been validated by others. Everything that we did or had to do was to impress someone else in some sort of way. And we still do. When studying, doing chores, meeting other people, etc. There is always someone that we expect, or hope to get the validation from. Interestingly, we give the power of validation to others than ourselves and taking more seriously other people's expectations instead of our own.
As a result, a lot of our worries and negative self-talk might come because of it.
When we let go of the need to be accepted or validated by others we break other people's expectations of ourselves that never had anything to do with us in the first place.
If you are looking for the ways or challenges how you can improve your body image:
Best of luck in your journey! - Sedija Lejiete