We all deserve to have a positive body image of ourselves. That’s what body positivity is all about. It doesn’t matter your size, shape, or appearance.
Yet when you look yourself in the mirror, what do you see? Are you comfortable in your skin? Or, are you trying to conform to the current trends and culture in society?
Here are a couple of intriguing statistics. At least 91% of women across the world are not happy with their bodies. In contrast, it is only 5% of women that find their body image to be picture perfect.
So, what happens if you are part of the 91%? Guess what? You live once in this one body. It is only fair to embrace your uniqueness.
Let’s take a look at ten habits you can practice to see your body positively and build your self-confidence.
10 Habits to Enhance Body Positivity
1. Wear Clothes That Enhance Your Self-Confidence
Change your attitude towards dressing. Forget about the magazine models. You want to dress for you.
Then, next time there is a new clothing trend on the rise, use this checklist to confirm if it is the right clothing for you:
- Can you picture yourself wearing it?
- Does it demean your body or reinforce your beauty?
- Are you buying it to impress others or to make you feel great about yourself?
- Are you getting into debt because of your shopping?
Once you tick all of the above, then go ahead and buy it. Plus, you can always adjust the size or design to suit you. It is about you, remember?
2. Create Your Body Positivity Fashion Statement
Are you finding it tough to get something trendy for your body type? Are the clothes that make you feel beautiful out of fashion? Use this chance to be creative.
Why not create your fashion statement? Here is how:
- Recreate your current wardrobe. Yes, there is no need to go for new clothing and jewelry. Wear your T-shirts, jeans, skirts, and blazers as your basics.
- Observe the current fashion trends. What is appealing about them? What would you change? Only pick ideas from outfits that you can imagine yourself wearing.
- Recreate the outfit. Play around with colors. Who knows, you may discover a passion you never thought you had.
Note that a personal style may mean going beyond the norm and forgetting about the current trends. It is okay to feel a bit insecure as you do so. But, the final results will be worth your effort.
3. Walk with A Positive Body Language
Now, body positivity is more than what you wear or how much you weigh. Be keen on your posture too. As you walk with your head high:
- Maintain an open posture. It is about having an upright posture when sitting or standing. At such a pose, you can do deep breathing for a focused and sharp mind. In contrast, placing your hands on your hips can appear as aggressive.
- Keep steady eye contact when talking or listening to someone. More so, locking gazes with someone in a crown helps you build a rapport.
- Have you ever thought of how you shake hands? If you are a hand-shaker, strive to maintain a firm grip. It depicts you as a confident person. Hence, others will pick on your confidence and trust your abilities.
- Did you know that touching your face while talking portrays you as dishonest? Indeed, studies show that self-touching of the face is a stress reliever for someone who is lying.
4. Practice Self-Care
What part of your body makes you feel least confident? Why not come up with self-care routines to address such issues?
Self-care revolves around guarding your mental, physical and emotional health. Only then can you use your skills and talents to serve others.
Have a look at these self-care routines below.
- Strive for a life-work balance.
Exhaustion and stress can lead to depression, anxiety which will push you to poor habits as you try to cope.
- Spend more time in the outdoors.
Did you know that a forest bath can heal your immune system? Then, tap into nature’s phytoncides whose antibacterial and antifungal properties can help you in fighting ailments.
- Focus on your internal values.
Take time to remind yourself of your worth. That way, you will find it almost impossible to be around people who don’t see it.
Now, exercise and clean eating are some of the self-care practices that are specific to body positivity.
Often, exercising is associated with people who are not happy with the way they look. But, your fitness routine should be about being healthy, not body shaming. More so, pick trainers that will accept your body and work with you towards a healthy lifestyle.
Here are a few body-positive fitness routines you can try:
- Body awareness exercises
- Flexibility routines
- Strength development
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Trainers that use a punishment-focused approach
- Prolonged workouts that allow for too short breaks in between
- Workout teams that compare participants’ achievements to shame those lagging
Clean eating is about eating whole foods to maintain a healthy body. Yet, you should find a balance between such diets and staying body positive.
- Know that you cannot tell a healthy person by looking at one.
- Practice self-love regardless of your health status.
- Being thin is not necessarily healthy.
- And, being able-bodied is not necessarily body-positive.
6. Acknowledge Your Achievements for Body Positivity
Picture this. Anytime you celebrate your wins, regardless of their magnitude, there is a dash of endorphins inside your body. What happens next is a feel-good feeling that can last for the rest of the day. How cool is that?
Then, list your wins. Then, anytime you feel inadequate or have low self-esteem, pull this list out to remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
Use the mirror to praise yourself. Add some positive affirmations on sticky notes all over your dressing mirror. Talk to the person you see in the mirror as your best friend.
As you acknowledge your wins, know your limitations too. It makes no sense to beat yourself over things beyond your control.
7. Accept Compliments
Now, studies show that when you have low self-esteem, it is hard to accept compliments. More so, you may analyze it and take it as criticism. Try doing the following instead:
- A simple thank you will do.
- Never over-analyze, hedge, or deny the compliment. A hedging reply will downplay the applause.
- Challenge the inner voice that is undermining the approval.
Remember, we go through so many ups and downs in life. And, all these changes can take a toll on our bodies. So, learn to cut yourself some slack.
8. Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind
Did you know that what you tell yourself forms an imprint in your subconscious mind? It also includes all the childhood experiences, successes, or failures. Without you knowing it, you make your decisions about why referring to all these experiences.
That is how the subconscious mind works, like a computer. If you feed your memory with demeaning thoughts about yourself, they are bound to affect your perspective about your body image.
The good news is this–you can reprogram your mind for body positivity. Here is how:
- Move to a positive environment. Note that, our subconscious mind will take note of comments from the TV, classmates, or parties that we attend with little effort from us. Then, avoid such environments in the first place.
- Make use of visualization techniques. See yourself as beautiful, and your subconscious mind will learn to acknowledge it.
- Combine self-hypnosis and guided sleep meditation each night before you sleep.
9. Don’t Compare Yourself with Who You Were Yesterday
Yes, we often compare the way we look, dress, or what we own with those around us. Yet, we have insufficient information to make a fair judgment of ourselves. That is, how much do you know about the other person?
So set your past achievements as your benchmark. Then, move at your own pace to reach your newly readjusted, more attainable goals.
10. If You Can Fake It, You Can Make It
Finally, when you have very low self-confidence, some of the habits mentioned here, if not all, may seem unreal to you. If so, here is what you can do. Fake it till you make it. Huh?
- Do you struggle to smile, fake a smile? The smile will come naturally with time.
- Do you internalize all the negative comments you receive from those around you? How about you shake it off and replace them with positive affirmations?
With time, you won’t have to try and recall such statements. They will pop into your memory when the situation demands so.
- Practice regularly. It’s the only way to develop a positive body image that comes naturally to you.
Body positivity is all about developing habits that reinforce your uniqueness. Then, are you going through old-age, pregnancy, a life-threatening illness, or a disability? Whatever your situation, shift your focus from what society tells you, you ought to have. Instead, appreciate what you do have already.