Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How To Create a Positive Body Image

Developing a positive body image and a healthy mental attitude is crucial to a person’s happiness, mental health and wellness. We have compiled a list of the top 8 ways to improve your body image so you can feel good about yourself!

Exercise - but not to lose weight. Certain types of exercises will help you to focus your mind and learn about your body. This will in turn improve your body image! Take a yoga, Tai chi or pilates class. These workouts are great not because they help you lose weight, but because they demonstrate how to focus in on how our bodies feel. The emphasis of these types of exercises is to be in touch with your body; understand the complicated nature of the body; and, recognize how incredible our bodies are as they help us move, lift and even hug. Pay attention to your body and do not try to ignore or hide it. These classes also allow us to feel more in control and comfortable with our own bodies relatively quickly. All of this helps build confidence and self-esteem, which directly impacts our body image, and ultimately develops empowerment and strength.

Relaxation or Meditation.
By practicing deep relaxation or meditation, you can redirect your mind away from self-critical thoughts, and refocus toward more positive ways of thinking. This can help you gain perspective and decrease anxiety.

Values Matter. Focus on your inner values. If you want to be a kind empathetic person, practice empathy and kindness. Not just to others, but to yourself as well! Understanding that who you are is more important that what you look like can help lead to more acceptance and self-love.

Affirm. An affirmation is a short, positive statement about you in the present tense. This statement affirms what you most want and need in your life. The reason for having an affirmation is to calm intrusive anxiety and worries, correct negative beliefs and to prevent self-sabotaging. In short, the affirmation you create will help you to feel calm, grounded and in control. Try creating your own affirmation. Repeat it to yourself throughout the day, particularly during times of stress. This statement will remind you of what an incredible woman you truly are and what you can accomplish with your strengths. Create and repeat positive affirmations such as “I love and approve of myself'” or “I am a strong, confident person”.

Find Your Assertive Self. Learn to practice assertiveness skills. Being assertive and having a sense of self-control helps you to like who you are. Practice saying “no” when you do not want to do something someone asks of you. Speak up about what movie you want to see instead of following what someone else wants. If you would like for something to happen – ask for help. You might actually get what you want and feel better about yourself for making it happen.

Self-Care. Treat your body respectfully. Nourish it with the healthy food it wants. Do not abuse your body with hours on the treadmill; enjoy a fun walk outside instead. Take a warm bath; get a massage; or simply pamper your skin with lotion if it gets dry or sunburned. These are ways to take care of yourself. If you practice self-care and self-love, you will feel more accepting and positive about your body and yourself.

Adventure. Read fun books, find new hobbies, new friends, study art, or a new language – just try something new. Doing new things will stimulate your brain and help you to see the world differently. It will also help you to take your mind off those negative thoughts.

Attitude. Have an attitude of gratitude. Take time to reflect on all the positive things in your life every day. Think about everything you have and can practice being grateful for. Each night think of one thing that happened during the day that was good or fun or positive. Maybe you helped someone crossing a street; picked up litter from the sidewalk; walked 4 blocks to run an errand instead of jumping in the car; called a friend you haven’t spoken to an several weeks; turned your phone or computer OFF for 15 minutes to have some quiet, introspective time.

Thoughts? Comments? We welcome your feedback. Contact us today at AnotherLook@HealingLLC.com, by phone 240-274-5680 or check out our website at www.HealingLLC.com.