Do you ever scroll on social media and wish that your body looked like the images curated on your feed? When you get dressed, do you wish that your clothes fit differently? These seemingly small thoughts and feelings about your body contribute to your overall body image.
A negative body image brings up feelings of inadequacy, low-self esteem, and deflated confidence. It chips away at your well-being and steals precious headspace. Instead of focusing on what you love in life, you feel trapped by thoughts about your body.
To boost your body image TODAY, try these 5 mindset shifts and feel empowered, elevated, and inspired.
What is Body Image?
Body image is your view of yourself. It includes what you believe about your appearance, weight, shape, size, etc. It’s your experience of being in your body.
Furthermore, The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) recognizes that body image extends beyond what is seen in the mirror. It encompasses the internalized messages, beliefs, and generalizations picked up from society.
Unfortunately, the messages from media, pop culture, and diet culture aren’t always helpful. In fact, today’s “thin ideal” and beauty standards can trigger negative body image. People of all shapes, sizes, and genders struggle with body image. You are not alone.
5 Mindset Shifts to Boost Your Body Image Today
1. Welcome Body Neutrality
Body positivity is great, don’t get me wrong. But if you feel negative about your body, shifting to body positivity can feel unrealistic and inauthentic. It’s like forcing yourself to go from zero to 100. Body neutrality is that gentle step in between.
Negativity: I don’t like my body.
Positivity: I love my body.
Neutrality: This IS my body.
Notice that body neutrality is noticing without judgment, which is also a key pillar of mindfulness.
2. Focus on What Your Body Can Do
Instead of focusing on the physical attributes that you dislike about your body, identify what your body CAN do.
For example, next time you think “my arms are too big” or “I hate the way my arms look in tank tops”, identify what your arms enable you to do:
- My arms allow me to hug my loved ones.
- I carried in the groceries with my strong arms.
- My arms helped me pick up my dog today.
Instead of: I hate my arms in tank tops.
Try: My arms allow me to hug my loved ones.
This helps you shift from a scarcity mindset to a gratitude mindset!
3. Try Thought Defusion
Defusion techniques help to see thoughts and feelings for what they are: a stream of words and passing sensations.
Again, this technique helps to take a step back and notice our thoughts and feelings without judgment. Instead of overidentifying with the thought or feeling, we take the role of a neutral observer.
One of the most helpful phrases for this technique is: “I am noticing the thought that..”
Instead of: My stomach is too big.
Try: I am noticing the thought that my stomach is too big.
4. Highlight Physical and Soul Attributes
Write a letter to yourself highlighting physical and soul attributes. Reflect on what makes you, YOU. Start the letter with, “I am a person who…” and proceed with your list.
For example, I am a person who…
- Has brown eyes
- Has long hair
- Is 5’5”
- Fiercely loves my family
- Enjoys spending time in nature
- Is a great listener
This exercise helps you acknowledge physical attributes, while also going deeper into your whole being.
5. Uncouple Weight From Worth
How do you derive your sense of self-worth? Are you overidentifying with your body?
Repeat after me: my weight is separate from my worth.
Imagine a day in the life when your sense of self no longer hinges on your appearance.
Visualize it now or write it down as a journal prompt.
As you uncouple weight from worth, you might want to explore what truly contributes to your sense of self-worth. Do a values-check exercise.
- What are my core values?
- What makes these important to me?
- How am I living in alignment with my values?
- If I am out of alignment with my values, what brought me here?
Here is a list of values to help you with this exercise.
Body Image Takeaways
- What is one step that you can take today to boost your body image?
- What, if anything, is standing in the way of that?
For additional support, schedule a free discovery call, to learn how Everglow Mentorship can support you in fostering a better relationship with food, body, and self.