Is Your Body Image Affecting Your Life?
When was the last time you glanced in the mirror and felt amazing and positive about the way you look? Do you find yourself using negative words when talking about yourself?
It’s time to be honest and think about your body image Choma. Whether it’s from comparing yourself to friends and family or being exposed to unrealistic media images on a daily basis, putting yourself down all the time will have long-term effects on many aspects of yourself, including:
Self-esteem is all about how highly you value yourself, how much you feel you deserve and what you think you’re worth. Your self-esteem has a big impact on your life and the choices you make, even how you act around others. Your self-esteem can also affect how other people treat you. The reality is, Choma, if you don’t think highly of yourself, you take yourself for granted and risk other people taking you for granted too. A low self-esteem could lead to you feeling like you don’t deserve to stand-up for yourself or that you don’t deserve to be respected. This can be disempowering Choma because it leads to you giving someone else power over you. In a relationship for example, you might agree to things that your partner suggests even if they are unhealthy. You might also be dependent on your partner for affection and validation and this could result in you doing anything to keep them. It’s important for you to love yourself so that you know your worth and know what you deserve. The more empowered you are, the more you make decisions that are healthy for you.
Body image and self-esteem go hand in hand with your mental health – the more positive you are the happier you’ll be. But it isn’t just about being happy. When your self-esteem is high, you’re more confident and are willing to try new experiences and face any challenge. That little voice in your head telling you that you can’t do something, or that no one likes you, that voice comes from a low self-esteem. A negative body image can also lead to you becoming pre-occupied with the way you look and this could even lead to a mental disorder called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). BDD is a mental condition where someone is obsessed with the perceived ‘flaws’ on their bodies, like their face, legs, breasts or overall body shape. You can read more about BDD here Choma.
Whether you have a positive or negative body image has a big impact on your physical health as well. When you feel bad about your body you are less likely to take care of it by eating properly and getting regular exercise; letting your outside appearance reflect the way you feel internally. Even drug and alcohol abuse have been linked to poor body image and low self-esteem. A poor body image could also lead to eating disorders which can affect your overall health.
The important thing to keep in mind, Choma’s, is that you want to stay fit and healthy because it’s good for you, not because you’re comparing yourself to an external image you think you need to live up to.
Tips to improve your body image
So how can you start to develop a positive body image and start to feel good about being you?
- First off, remember that everyone is different and our unique qualities are the things that make us so special; they should be celebrated, not scorned.
- Learn to stop comparing yourself to others: You may admire those actresses and models in the magazines, but don’t try to be them, they all have their own flaws, trust me. Plus, they have a team of very expensive photographers, makeup artists, and clothing designers working hard to make them look the way they do –under it all, they’re just like you and me, I promise.
- Focus on your body positives and highlight them: Dress to suit your best attributes, not just because it’s fashionable; find fashion trends to suit your body type.
- Practise self-care: Eat properly and exercise because it’s good for you and it makes you feel good, not because you wish you had a thigh gap like magazine models. Try things like yoga or meditation, which teach you to reconnect with yourself while getting fit and healthy.
- Be grateful: gratitude is a powerful emotion and we all have so much to be thankful for, focus on those things.
- Cut the negative self-talk: You’re not doing yourself any favours when you put yourself down, remember your body is your best friend..
- Read: There are so many others who share your journey, read their blogs and learn how they got to where they are. You can also read more inspirational and self-love articles on Choma.
Do you need more advice on self-love and having a positive body image? Remember that you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)
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