Human beings come in different colors, body shapes and sizes and everybody deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin. A positive body image is essential to self esteem and self confidence and this post will show you how to improve body image.

First, let’s define body image.

Body image is the composition of a person’s thoughts, feelings and perception of the physical appeal, beauty or sexual attractiveness of their own body.

Everyone has a body image, however it might be a positive body image or a negative one.

What Is Positive Body Image?

Having a positive body image involves the understanding that your sense of self-worth does not depend on your appearance, a sincere acceptance of your own body and being comfortable with the way you look without any shame.

Why Is It Important To Have A Positive Body Image?

Before we go into exactly how to improve body image, have you ever asked exactly why in the world is it important that you should have a positive body image.

Positive body image is associated with both good physical and emotional health, according to research. However, some body image statistics have also indicated that feeling bad and having negative thoughts about one’s own body increases the chance of developing certain mental health problems, such as eating disorders and depression.

Having unhealthy thoughts about the way we look can do a lot of damage to our overall self-confidence, and that in turn affects multiple aspects of our lives and without self confidence our mental health and even relationships are affected. This is exactly why it is important to have a body image that is positive and change how we see, think and talk about our bodies.

The following are some useful tips that can help you develop a positive body image, get rid of body shame and start genuinely appreciating your body the way it is.

1.Appreciate Your Body For What It Does.

Take some time everyday to consider all the things your body does for you.

Focus on the positive things about your body because it has amazing abilities and not everyone can do the things you can do with it.

You’ll be inspired to take care of your body and love it for what it is if you make it an habit to appreciate it.

2. Be Your Own Friend.

Avoid beating yourself down with negative thoughts. Be encouraging to yourself instead, be your own friend when others are mean to you. What they think really doesn’t matter, as long as you’re comfortable with your body and your healthy you don’t need to feel any shame.

3. Affirm Yourself.

A very effective way to develop an healthy body image is to reinforce yourself with positive body image affirmations, affirm yourself aloud and often.

Say something kind about yourself to yourself in the mirror, place encouraging sticky notes on places you’ll see them, program daily encouragements into your phone or computer. Get and practice body-positive mantras that help you feel good about yourself.

4. Stop Comparing.

Everybody is different and unique in many ways and especially in their bodies. Each of us is beautiful in our own uniquely different ways. Comparing yourself to others is frankly unhealthy, doing that can make you feel like there’s a right way to look and there’s something wrong with you if you don’t look that way. Remind yourself every time you feel like comparing yourself that you’re not supposed to look like someone else; you’re supposed to look like you.

5. Avoid Offending Media.

Whether we like it or not, the media significantly shapes the way we perceive the world, other people, and even ourselves. The information kind of magazines, movies, and the kinds of posts we see on social media silently molds our perceptions of our own bodies. For this reason, you must stay away from image-focused and body-shaming media if you want to have a healthy, positive body image.

6. Look For Media That Reinforces Positive Body Image.

Make an effort to seek out uplifting material that improves your self-esteem and body image in addition to avoiding offensive media.

Social media is filled with content like this, which only promotes one type of idealized lean figure as the gold standard. Too much social media time is a risk factor for a negative body image. According to one study, people who spent more time on social media were more likely to have eating disorders and have a negative perception of their bodies. Don’t waste your time or attention on anything negative; instead, actively seek out positive material and look up influencers who advocate self-love, a positive body image, and acceptance of oneself.

7. Avoid conversations about appearance.

Nowadays, people enjoy critiquing appearance, whether it be their own or yours. In either case, when a conversation with someone begins to center on how you or they appear, shift the subject to something else, like food, health, or other topics. Having a conversation about someone else’s appearance, their weight, etc., invariably causes us to reflect on our own appearance. It’s always preferable to keep body talk out of any talk.

8. Cut out negative self-talk.

Nothing is worse for your body image then you consciously talking trash about your body. Be kind to your body, treat it like your friend, you wouldn’t be mean to a friend, would you? In the same way, don’t be mean to your body.

Monitor your thoughts to detect whenever you’re about say something negative about your body and stop that thought in it’s tracks. Negative self-talk is never helpful and it only stinks you deeper into negative patterns of thinking. Your body doesn’t deserve verbal abuse from anybody, and definitely not from you.

9. Think healthier, not skinnier.

Everybody seems to think that a skinny body is the only healthy body size which is not true. Don’t actively trying to be a skinny person, an healthy body doesn’t have to be skinny. Your fitness goals, eating habits shouldn’t be based on you trying to be skinny, but being healthy. Forget the kilograms and pounds the scale is displaying, as long as you don’t have any warning signs for being unhealthy, your body is perfect the way it is.

Don’t tend towards anorexic behavior or excessive exercise, don’t punish your body, eat healthy and exercise regularly, not to be skinny but to be healthy.

Appreciate your body and treat it right, reward it with nourishing meals and exercises that you feel comfortable doing.

10. Focus on your whole person.

Part of developing a positive body image is recognizing that our person goes way beyond your body shape or size, you are more than a body, there’s other sides to the person you are, your personality and character are part of who you are so focus on them as well. Don’t spend all your time thinking about coping with your body, your weight, shape and size, instead spend some time developing your personality and character, strengthening your relationships, helping others.