Take a minute and look around your social media pages. You'll likely find friends and family posting links and images that speak to bettering themselves, to losing weight. Images of near perfect, toned bodies get shared in the name of 'fitspiration.' While there is nothing wrong with seeking and sharing advice, tips and encouragement, the very nature of social media has made it easier for us to do serious damage to our body image.
This relatively anonymous way of interacting has made it easy for us to compare ourselves to other people. We can look at someone's life -- or at least the one they are presenting online -- and feel that ours is wholly inadequate. We will never be that happy, that thin, that beautiful. You name it, we can compare it. And what's worse, people feel free to make and leave comments, regardless of whether or not they are appropriate. Sometimes, people can be encouraging but other times, not so much. Cyber bullying is a real issue and can have a real impact on the way we view ourselves.
While it may not be possible to wipe social media clean from all that can wound us, it is possible to remain positive in our own minds.
It is crucial that we learn to love and embrace ourselves. Even if you want to change the way you look physically, it is important to love yourself first. Don't take on a healthy lifestyle because you hate your body, do it because you love it and want to treat it kindly.
Here are 4 tips to help you improve your body image:
1. Stop comparing yourself to others:
This is huge. If you can master this, nothing will stop you. Remember, what you see on social media is just a smoke screen. It does no good to view your own existence through the lens someone else has created. Try to be mindful of this habit. Make a note of who exactly you are comparing yourself to, why and how it makes you feel. Ask if you are being fair and/or realistic. Working through what you are thinking and feeling can help you in the long run.
Just remember that no matter what you do, you cannot be anyone else. You are uniquely you and uniquely beautiful. When you feel down, think of what you are grateful for in life. Things are never as dismal as they seem.
2. Turn the negative into positive:
Goals are an important way to gain traction and stay motivated in life. Instead of making your goals about weight loss or looking like someone else, try to make your goals about living a healthier life. The goals can be something like trying to increase your energy or trying to stay positive on a daily basis. If you are someone who easily slips into a negative space, try to replace that nagging little voice with a louder, positive one. Pay attention to your attitude. If you are starting a new workout routine, don't say "this is hard, I give up!" Acknowledge the difficulty and say instead "this is hard but I will try my best." It sounds a little simplistic but trust us, it works!
3. Surround yourself with positive people:
If your friends make you feel down about yourself and your life, than they may not actually be friends. Being positive is hard enough on its own, you don't need people who weigh you down. You need people who will support your through your tough times and celebrate your victories. If your friends are primarily focused on status and what others think of them, this can cause you to become concerned with the same things. Choose friends with similar goals. You can work toward a happy, healthy life together.
4. Educate yourself:
It is important to be aware and knowledgeable when it comes to health and wellness. Be aware that there are basic things about your body that will never change. You will never be taller, for example. But, you can eat better and find an exercise plan that makes you feel energized and confident in the body you do have. By understanding what will make your body feel good, you can equip yourself and decide how you want to proceed without resorting to fad diets or unhealthy restrictions. For workout ideas to suit all fitness levels and moods, check out Sweatflix℠
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Loving yourself and finding the right motivation is where your fitness journey truly begins. Your mental shape is just as important as your physical one!
How do you stay positive with regards to your body image?