The Secret Ingredient to Feeling Good in your Body | Marla Mervis-Hartmann | TEDxSalinas
How to Feel Good About Your Body
Everyone - girls and boys included - wakes up some mornings not feeling so great about their bodies. For some, having crappy body image is a transient feeling that comes and goes. For others, this is a feeling that never goes away. Despite what TV, magazines, and social media tell you about the ideal body type, you can feel good about your body, no matter what its size or shape.
Transforming Your Perspective
Ask yourself why you feel bad about your body.In order to reverse your body image from bad to good, you need to understand the inner working of why you feel the way you do. Do you feel bad about your body because a loved one called you too fat or too skinny? Are you idolizing celebrities and models that you see on TV? Are you unhappy about some other aspect of your life and your body image is suffering because of it? Maybe your body is not changing at the rate of everyone else your age and you feel ashamed or disappointed?
- Whatever the underlying reason for your poor body image, you need to strive to uncover the root of this problem. Only after identifying the cause can you make an effective attempt at overcoming this issue.
Pay attention to your thoughts on "ugly" days.Challenge negative thoughts. When you notice a rampage of negative thoughts targeted at your body, take note of the trigger and then try to challenge these thoughts.
- Firstly, examine where the thoughts came from. Unhealthy thoughts about our bodies might arise from reading magazines, hanging with friends who use "fat-talk", or being insulted by a classmate or family members. Try to figure out why you are having negative thoughts about your body today.
- Next, attack these thoughts. Negative thoughts are typically the result of a cognitive distortion. These include over-generalizations, jumping to conclusions, and discounting the positives, among others. For example, you might receive many compliments on a new outfit but one key person does not seem to notice. As a result you discount the other compliments saying to yourself "this outfit looks stupid. ____ didn't even say anything about it."
- Challenge cognitive distortions, or negative, irrational thought patterns, by turning them into more realistic and positive thoughts. For instance, a better way of looking at the situation might be "Lots of people thought my outfit looked cool today. Maybe ____ was too preoccupied and didn't notice."
Stomp out body-shaming.Hold up a finger and "shhh" yourself and others when you put down your own body or that of others. Body-shaming occurs when a person is criticized for being fat, chastised for being skinny, called out for conforming to society's strict guidelines of beauty, judged by others in the gym, or depicted due to a body size at either extreme as being unattractive sexually.
- When you catch yourself or someone else taking part in these body-shaming behaviors, stop them immediately. Emphasize the significance of overall health and inner beauty rather than bashing people for not meeting the twisted standards of outer-beauty.
Buy clothes that suit your body shape.It's virtually impossible to feel great about your body when you are wearing clothing that is too big or too little. Dressing in clothing that fits your body well can help you to feel more confident and attractive. There is something captivating about every body - thin, curvy, apple-shaped, or boxy. Visit a local retailer or check out an online buying guide to help you determine which clothes flatter your unique body shape best.
Write down all the awesome things your body helps you to do.Human bodies are amazing treasures with infinite uses, abilities, and surprises. Your body does so much for you on a daily basis. Take a moment to write a list of all the incredible functions that you gratefully notice about your body. Perhaps you can use your legs to run a 5k, your fingers to deftly strum the guitar, or your strong arms to swing your kids around. Rather than focusing on what you hate about your body, think about all the things you love.
Look in the mirror with appreciation.When you look at yourself in the mirror, don't search for flaws. Instead, strive to uncover aspects about your body that you appreciate. Maybe you have quirky dimples, a scar that adds character, or striking eyes. Take in the characteristics that make you who you are.
- After you have gazed at your reflection for a time, give your best smile. Blow yourself a kiss or produce your sexiest wink. Not only will this make you feel happier, but it will also gradually change your relationship with the mirror into a more positive, fulfilling experience.
Leave yourself little love notes.Spread the good vibes. Sometimes, all you need is a gentle reminder that you are beautiful, and that you are enough. Cut out several pieces of paper, a dozen or more. Write down positive statements to tape to your mirror or hide in unusual places so you can reap the benefits of these love notes later.
- Your personal love notes can say things like:
- Hey, there, good-looking!
- Happiness isn't size-specific.
- Love the skin you're in.
- Your personal love notes can say things like:
Changing How You Move
Exercise regularly.Sit-ups, push-ups, and other moves can help you tone your body. However, exercise is a life-giving activity that should not be done just for the results. Do it for how it makes you feel. Of course, the feel-good chemicals (known as endorphins) produced during exercise will improve your mood. Regular physical activity also enhances your physical and mental well-being, allows you to challenge yourself, and build self-confidence.How could you possibly dislike your body after it has pulled you through an hour of power yoga or an invigorating mountain hike?
- Choose several activities that you enjoy and do them often. Exercising alone delivers terrific benefits, but loving your exercise time enables you to feel productive and happy while you're doing it.
Sit up.Having good posture can work wonders on your body confidence. Posture doesn't just change the way others perceive you, it also affects the way you perceive yourself. One study shows that subjects were more likely to believe positive thoughts they wrote down about their qualification for a job when they sat up straighter. When they slumped, they were less likely to believe these positive thoughts.
Walk with your head held high.Just as posture can affect you when you're sitting, it can also affect you while standing and walking. If you feel bad about your body, it may show in the way you carry yourself. Demonstrate confidence by walking with your shoulders back and your chin tilted upward. Doing this will help you to feel better about yourself.
- Psychologist Amy Cuddy describes 'power poses' that you can use to increase confidence. These positions include standing in a wide stance with your hands gaped at your sides. The "Wonder Woman" pose is characterized by placing your hands on your hips with your chest poked out. Taking on such a pose increases your own self-perception of being capable and in charge.
QuestionWhat if I am unattractive to men because I am a female with a lot of muscle, but I like being strong?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are lots of men who like strong women--you just have to find the right ones. Don't change yourself, instead find someone who likes what they see in you.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if other people think that I'm fat?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to ignore them. It is difficult, but it is doable. Also, learn to accept and love your body for the way it is. If you are having difficulties doing so, consider complimenting one aspect of yourself each day. It can be as simple as "I have pretty eyes" or "I have a great sense of humor!"Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if someone in my family says I am fat and that I need to exercise more?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should ask them to stop. It isn't their place to say anything about that. It's your body and you should be the one who decides if you want to make changes.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get my crush to notice me as beautiful if he rated me two out of 10 randomly?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf this person doesn't see you as beautiful and is remarking on the way you look in such a negative way, you should not pursue him. Being with someone who doesn't appreciate you for you is a recipe for disaster.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I feel good about my body if I have too much hair on my body and I am a young teen?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHave you tried shaving? Set aside time to remove body hair where you are not comfortable with it.Thanks!
QuestionI have a red dimple just underneath my right eye and I absolutely hate it. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou may try to conceal it if possible with makeup, or play up your other features to detract from its appearance.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I am being teased because I am not developing at the same rate as everyone else?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAll you have to do is to first tell yourself that everyone is different and that is the reason why we are not as same as everyone else. Second, try to lecture others that everyone has flaws and no one is same. Lastly, if you feel you are being bullied you should talk to a parent, teacher or principal as no one should feel that way.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do if I have facial hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can either shave it off or learn to like it. There's nothing wrong with facial hair.Thanks!
How do I feel good about my body if people make fun of me for being fat?
- Ask a friend their favorite thing about you. Whether it's your sense of humor or awesome advice, you'll feel better about yourself after hearing it.
- Accepting yourself isn't the same as ignoring your flaws and lying to yourself. If there is something you can improve on, then improve. Keep in mind, though, that you never have to change yourself for anyone.
Sources and Citations
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