It is pretty natural to find the worst in yourself- but we don’t have to let those feelings take over. The minute that we say those words out loud we are treating it as fact and inviting negativity, shame, and a lack of confidence into our lives.
Speaking badly about my own body has:
- Lowered my self-esteem.
- Hurt my relationships.
- Made me self-conscious in social environments.
- Limited my opportunities.
- Had an effect on the way others think about me.
- Made others feel self conscious about their own bodies.
- Lead me to depression, anxiety, and binge eating.
It is for these reasons that I have been attempting to stop talking bad about myself and my body. While I am not perfect at it, I have noticed a very positive change in my life and because of that I have created a list of tips that have really been helping me to recognize and change the way I talk and think about myself.
Tips for eliminating self-degrading talk from your life:
#1 Replace the negative with the positive: Compliment yourself. 😉
Ever done one of those activities where you write down five things you like about yourself? I think that everyone should do that when they look in the mirror and notice a “flaw.” When we notice that we are thinking or saying a lot of negative things about the way that we look, we should be immediately replacing those thoughts with something positive.
#2 Accept compliments from others.
It is so lame and awkward when a person can’t accept a compliment. I grew up thinking that I had to reject compliments because “it is more attractive to not know how beautiful you are.” Instead of people thinking I am more attractive because of supposed humility I just ended up with really bad self-esteem. As I have started to accept compliments I have noticed that I am actually starting to believe the good things that people say to me and it is a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.
#3 Take time away from people who talk negatively about themselves or others & encourage them to speak more kindly.
When thinking about my personal body image over the past fifteen I have realized that my environment can make a big difference. Being with people who talk badly about their own bodies or tease other people because of the way they look has always made me super self-conscious: If they think they’re fat, they must think that I am morbidly obese; OR, if they think they have a big nose they must think that mine is like a clown. If I notice myself feeling that way around people now I will take a step away for a while or encourage them to speak more kindly about themselves or others.
#4 Consider how you want others to feel.
It literally gives me pain thinking about some of the negative things I have said about myself in front of others. It never makes anyone involved feel good. I don’t want my friends, family, or future children to think poorly of the way they look, so I shouldn’t be thinking that way about myself.
#5 Stop comparing & accept your uniqueness.
Comparison is a vicious cycle that never ends until you accept the way you are. We are all different and that is amazing! For years I have struggled wanting to “just be like her” instead of myself. The more I think about though, it would be so lame if we all looked the same. It is unfair to compare ourselves to other people when God wanted me to be this way. Why would I want to be like everyone else when I can be myself?
#6 Appreciate the beauty around you.
The more that you find beauty in others and in your surroundings, the easier it is to see it in yourself because your mind is naturally looking for it. My idea of beauty has widened so much over the last year and it has been like coming out of a cave! I’m judging less, I’m more appreciative, and I am just in awe of the beauty in this world. The best part is that I am starting to see my part in it.
#7 Ask for help from a loved one.
If you tell someone that you trust that you want to stop thinking and speaking negatively about yourself I guarantee that they will support you in it! When my panic sets in I tend to spiral with bad thoughts about myself and I sometimes cannot get out of it without the help of others. Sifa comforts me, compliments me, and encourages me to say positive things about myself as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Thanks for reading! Even if you have a positive body image I hope that you will stop to consider how other people feel about themselves when they are around you.