Improving Body Image By Sarah Boutros
Body image refers to how an individual sees their own body and how attractive they feel themselves to be. How you perceive yourself has a massive impact on numerous areas of life: how you interact with others, the way you present yourself, the kind of jobs you apply for and even your physical posture.
However, there are some actions we can take to improve how we feel about our bodies and help us to protect, promote and maintain a positive body image throughout our lives. Here are Holistic Health Coach and Mint Basil Market Health Expert Sarah Boutros’s tips for improving your body image.
1. Become a critical viewer of social and media messages
Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Body dissatisfaction often comes from comparisons to peers or celebrities. Try to be aware of the times you start to compare yourself to other people. Remind yourself that each person’s body is unique and that there is no “ideal” look. Adjust your social media platforms to help you avoid holding yourself up against others. Fill your feed with unique and healthy body shapes and abilities and limit your time scrolling if you’re prone to compare.
2. Show some appreciation
A good place to start is to refocus your self-talk. Rather than nitpicking over the appearance of your body, try recognizing and appreciating the amazing things that it does for you every day. 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.
3. 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). Exercise can boost a person’s confidence in their strength and agility and contribute to their mental and physical well-being. It can also reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
4. Nurture your whole self
Practice body kindness, mindfulness, and self-care. Do something nice for yourself — something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, or find a peaceful place outside to relax.
Most importantly, take your time. Body image issues do not heal overnight and have no quick fix. Be gentle with yourself. 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.
If you ever feel that your negative body image is affecting you in a distressing or disruptive way, reach out to a professional so they can help you work through those negative thoughts and start embracing your body just the way it is.
For any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Mint Basil Market team.