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Overcoming Negative Body Image

Having a negative body image is like having a constant bitchy frenemy with you, judging you, making nasty comments, making you doubt yourself and the image you have of yourself.

February 22, 2019 | Brooke Tahau

The Alarming Truth About Body Image

Seems to be the hot topic at the moment and it’s GREAT that light is getting shed on an issue that people, in particular woman have been struggling with for decades. I remember as a child my mother having body confidence issues, constantly trying a new “Diet” and fixating on her weight. But in those days, there was not the online community there is now nor the support for mental illness and related topics. 

 A study by CBS news reported that of women surveyed 97% had a negative body image… LADIES this is crazy!! Some studies indicate that a woman’s body image is the single largest influence on her self-esteem. If she thinks she looks unattractive, fat or too skinny her self-confidence drops, and this can impact on other areas of her life. CEO of the Butterfly Foundation (an organisation that helps people with eating disorders), Christine Morgan says “There is certainly a belief: I’m not good enough because I’m not a certain weight”. 

For me one of the biggest hurdles in loving the body my mumma gave me is comparing myself to other women. In the age of social media, where marketing and the perception of the ideal body and world is constantly plastered on our screens its hard not to find yourself comparing your body to some of those picture perfect Insta Models. But …..

Tips for Overcoming Negative Body Image

Rewiring your brain to stop the internal negative comments to yourself is the key, you can change your lifestyle, get healthy, loose/gain weight, buy new clothes, pamper yourself and anything else we do to make ourselves feel good but re-training your brain to say positive things about yourself and like what you see is imperative! How do you do this you ask….. well everyone is different and If I am honest I still have days where I don’t practice what I preach. But below are some tricks and tips that I used; 

  1. Re-Train Your Brain: Training your brain to block out negative thoughts about yourself is so important. To practice self acceptance you need to actively keep your mind in check. Every time a negative thought creeps into your mind stop it and say something complimentary to yourself instead. Although at the beginning you might feel stupid or not really believe yourself overtime you will start to naturally think more positively about yourself. 
  2. Assess you Lifestyle, Attitudes and Surroundings: For me this is a huge one, as I believe a lot of mental health issues and negativity can relate back to your external environment. If your lifestyle is unhealthy to you, your attitude poor and your surroundings negative or un-supportive then the chance of you improving your mental health is going to be limited. Assess what is working for you and what is not (this included people) and make the changes that will support your best life.  
  3. Exercise: Now when I say exercise it has nothing to do with weight loss/gain or altering your appearance. Its a known fact that exercise releases endorphins, can reduce stress levels and is you time. And yes if you are unhappy with your body and want to make changes in a healthy way then exercise can assist with some of those and therefore improve your view of yourself. But do this for you and you only, no body else or to look like somebody else or think that a physical change will magically fix everything. 
  4. Stop Avoiding you Body: When I am not that impressed with my body I tend to avoid the mirror. Which is extremely unhealthy, because for me I am subconsciously telling myself that I should be ashamed of what I see. 
  5. Stop Comparing you Body: Quit comparing your body to others, especially in Marketing content and Social Media. First off we are all different and you will never look exactly like someone else so this is a pointless exercise and will always leave you disappointed. Second some content that is out there is edited which is unobtainable, again a pointless unhealthy exercise. 
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