Healthy body image and self-esteem are a big part of achieving balance in our wellness.
Body image is both a mental and emotional feeling. It is the mental picture that you have of your body and the way you feel about it when you look in the mirror.
Self-esteem is how you value and respect yourself as a person – it is the opinion that you have of yourself inside and out, which impacts how you take care of yourself, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is about your whole self, not just your body.
But have you ever stopped to consider that these mental, emotional thoughts and opinions are not necessarily reality; they are just thoughts we create about ourselves, not facts. Our minds jump to conclusions ALL the time which can often send us into negative thoughts.
When it comes to body image and self-esteem, the thoughts that can often crop up are things such as:
- I do not like the way I look
- I wish I looked more like them
- I look terrible in this
- I wish I were that size again
- I look old
- I do not look good enough
- I should be able to do this, what is wrong with me
Once you focus on these thoughts it becomes easy to only see them and not the positives your body has. Would you judge other people the same way you judge yourself? Likely, you would not.
Treat your body with respect and notice when you judge yourself or others based on appearance, weight, shape, or size. Are there other qualities you could look for instead and different statements of positive thought?
- I have a healthy body
- I have a body that has kept me going for X number of years
- I respect my body
- I am capable of great things
- I know that looks have nothing to do with my worth
- I make time to take care of myself
- I have realistic expectations of myself and others
Once you stop judging yourself based on your appearance you will no longer hear every negative thought and feeling you tell yourself. Replacing them with positive thoughts and feelings will have a huge impact on all other aspects of your life.
The self-sabotage will stop, you will push yourself out of your comfort zone, try new experiences and see the greatness in the simplest of pleasures. Physically you might stand up taller and with more confidence, make better choices with the food you eat, and exercise regularly because it is good for you and not as a punishment. You will stop comparing yourself to others and accept compliments graciously.
A single positive thought on its own is not likely to be life-changing; but the more your practice it the easier it becomes, the insecurities diminish, and good habits are formed.
Make a start today in complimenting yourself – as the adverts say ‘Because You’re Worth It’