From time to time, most people go through stages in which they feel more insecure about their body image than usual. Though we should feel content and at peace about the way our bodies look in the mirror or in photos, many people feel chronically dissatisfied with their appearance.
In fact, some shocking statistics reveal that more than 90% of women are unhappy with their bodies. The number of men reporting negative body image has also increased in the last few years, placing the concern of disordered eating at the forefront of health-related discussions around the world.
So, what is there to do about it? We think a lot! Here are some of the ways to combat poor body image.
1. Talk Back To Your Inner Critic
Literally a voice in your head, the inner critic is characterized as being judgemental and self-destructive. Though its aim isn’t to bring you down, but simply a function of judgment in its evaluative sense, we often internalize these harsh comments. This can definitely lower your body image, your confidence in yourself, and ultimately, your self-esteem.
What we want to start doing is isolating that voice and making it clearer. The only way we know how to deal with it is to first look at what it is exactly. Start to really scope out all you can about when it is present and how it impacts you:
- When is it the loudest?
- How often are we subjecting ourselves to its heartless narrative?
- When do we feel our inner critic is less judgemental?
- What makes it quieter?
Essentially, we want to understand your inner critic’s reasoning and therefore, be able to speak back to it. Challenge its place in your head and its authority to injure the way you feel about yourself. Slowly – and with time and practice – you will start to find relief in its overwhelming judgment. And in this way, you will be liberated from perhaps the most critical person in your life: yourself.
2. Work on your body
Try Body Contouring
You may not want to pursue surgery, but have you considered body contouring? In addition to working on our feelings about our body, there are ways that we can actually improve its appearance.
Depending on the different areas of concern, it is possible to look into a variety of treatments for yourself. Some are more invasive than others, but aesthetic treatments can be life-changing. Whether you are seeking continuous treatments or once-off sessions, it is important to realize why it’s an important step for you. Furthermore, the external work must be complemented through seeking to make peace with your harsh inner critic.
Step Up Your Exercise Routine
Most of us struggle to attain consistent exercise, and this is for several reasons. In addition to leading busy lives, we can become a bit complacent if there are more pressing errands, challenges, or relationships to tend to after work. However, developing a positive relationship with your body also involves accepting that exercise can be enormously beneficial for physical health, fitness, weight loss, and of course, improving your body image.
3. Take Control Of Your Health
Working on your body is one thing, but it extends far beyond what people usually tackle. Physical health encapsulates many components, including good nutrition and taking care of our diet. It also involves checking our bloodwork for vitamin or mineral deficiencies. We may think that our low mood has to do with our body image, but there may be a totally different cause. For example, severe vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiencies can cause symptoms of depression.
Therefore, it is of primary concern that if you are feeling unwell, rule out underlying causes first. Once you can ascertain that its cause is not physiological, you can begin to take charge of your mental wellbeing, exercise regime, and dietary habits. Looking at body image should be holistic, bringing all aspects of health into the discussion whenever possible.
4. Seek Support
If you are struggling with your body image and you feel that you need support, there are many ways to find this in others. Countless therapists, support groups, and communities whose sole purpose is to give compassion can act as a tool for support through difficult times or during stages when we need some more guidance to get through. There is never harm in admitting that you need help the opposite is true.
When we dare to stand up for a better way of living, we will often find that that is what we will get. Our bodies are supposed to be lived in, utilized, and enjoyed. Release your inner critic and reclaim your internal power to feel amazing about yourself!