A negative body image is something that impacts around 61% of adults. The human body is an amazing and unique vessel, so it is important to improve your relationship with your body, so you can live a happier and healthier life. While you may exercise regularly and eat a good diet, if you struggle with your body image, you may find that your performance and the results of your efforts are hindered. When you improve your relationship with your body, you are able to work out and eat food from a place of love and gratitude.
If you are struggling with your body image, or perhaps feel you are exercising for the wrong reasons, here are some top tips to help you improve your body image.
Identify your thoughts
It is first important to identify the negative thoughts that you are having. This can be difficult at first but develops the awareness you need that is fundamental to making changes. More often than not, thoughts are automatic and can turn into a nasty habit. This means they pass through your mind on a regular basis, without a second thought to them because they have become the norm. This also means you don’t challenge them, and instead, accept them as truth.
Challenge the thoughts
The next step in the cycle, when you are ready to do so, is to challenge the thoughts. Rather than let them pass through your mind automatically, learn how to stop treating them like hard facts. Remind yourself that your thoughts are not facts and repeat something positive in place of the negative thought. This will help you reduce the automatic thoughts you have, and rewire your brain with more positive ones. You can start by writing out the thoughts, and adding a column next to them to change it to something positive, or even neutral. You can then memorise these and say them out loud whenever you find yourself having a negative thought.
Show gratitude for your body
It is a good idea to learn how to accept and appreciate what your body can do. There are always going to be things that people don’t like about their bodies, but you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself all the time. The human body is extraordinary and capable of many incredible things. See if you can focus on the things your body can do, and the health that you have.
Focus on the things you like about yourself
This can be the fun part. Pick out your favourite features about yourself and enhance them. Perhaps you like your nose and have always wanted nose studs. Or perhaps you like your legs and would enjoy showing them off more. When you like something about yourself, you should show it off. This is a great way to help you show more gratitude for your body, and pave the way to help you start to appreciate other parts of your body.
Stay patient and consistent with these steps and over time, you will feel your relationship with your body change.