I think I speak on behalf of the majority of females when I say this, but being a woman is really hard. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been plagued by insecurities about my body – hating everything from the shape of my nose to the size of my thighs. I’ve spoken openly about my struggles with my weight. But I know that from speaking to female friends, I’m not alone in this. We all have doubts, insecurities and fears about our shapes and sizes.
Now, I’m not saying that guys don’t suffer from these feelings also. However, it’s apparent that girls seem to struggle a whole lot! We are our own harshest critics. And it’s gotta stop! We need to love ourselves a little more because our bodies are incredible. So, as a step forwards, I wanted to promote the idea of a whole day dedicated towards building up body positivity. A day where we appreciate ourselves and love what we’ve got, as opposed to the usual onslaught of negativities that we throw at ourselves. If you’re reading this then theres a good chance that you’re struggling with self-confidence too, and you might also be doubting how I could change that! And I can’t promise the latter. But the following steps I’m about to walk you through really help me! This is How A Self-Conscious Girl Can Create A Positive Body Image.
1. Focus on the things that you love
More often than not, we focus on the negatives. Well, today we’re going to focus on the positives. We’re going to work on crushing those feelings of “I hate this” and “I’d change that”, and instead think about focusing our attention on something that we like about ourselves. Something that we don’t give enough attention to. For instance, when I look in the mirror at my face, I immediately zone in on my pores and my nose and how much I want to change them. Today, however, I nipped those negatives in the bud. I focused on my eyes. I have nice eyes. They’re bright and blue and above all else, they provide me with perfect vision. I also have nice eyebrows and eyelashes. Something that I’ve never noticed before! It genuinely feels good when you start to notice these things about yourself.
Crazily, the hardest thing that I found out about this exercise, was how alien it felt. How am I so innately good at telling myself how much I hate something on my face, yet so terrible at telling myself something nice? Let’s work on fixing these toxic thought processes and begin to counteract them with positivity. When you look in the mirror today, pinpoint three things that you like about your face (and/or body) and WHY. Give it a go – “I have nice… because…”.
2. Wear a confident look
One of the worst feelings is putting on an outfit in the morning and finding a fault with it that you focus on for the rest of the day. It’s horrible. You spend the day feeling unconfident and self-conscious, when in actual fact, the only person noticing the “fault” was you. We need to remember that people are too busy to dwell on minor areas of insecurities of others. How often do you walk down the street and notice another woman’s ever-so-slightly bloated stomach? Or her arms that aren’t as toned as she’d like? Literally, never. Even when my friends specifically point these insecurities out to me, I don’t see them. It’s because they’re in our head. We’re our own worst critics. The key to looking good? Confidence.
So today, wear whatever the heck you like. But wear it because you know you look GREAT in it. Wear it because you love the colour or the pattern; or because it’s a sunny day; wear it because of all the reasons that it looks great. Better yet, if you live with people, try something on and then ask their opinion. More than likely they’ll throw you a compliment. Nothing feels better than wearing something you have confidence in.
3. Surround yourself with encouraging people
There are many different types of women in the world. Some are incredible. They support and follow you, they build you up and they make you feel great. Others will send you a pic of their post-gym toned tummies after you’ve told them you feel guilty for not gymming that week. Don’t let the latter get you down! Make a heap of time for the ladies (and gents) who bring a positive energy to your life instead. Send them a message and throw the positivity back at them!
4. Look after your health
Diet and exercise can really impact your mental health. This is something that not many of us think about but is a matter that we should really pay more attention to! Because not only can a good diet improve our mental health, it can keep us feeling less bloated and more like ourselves. Hello body confidence! In addition, a good diet keeps us healthy. Foods that help mental health are omega-3’s (fish and nuts), complex carbs (wholegrains), lean proteins (chicken, turkey, eggs, beans) and leafy greens (spinach, kale and broccoli).
As well as eating healthily, exercise is known to release endorphins. Whilst it can sometimes feel hard and effortful at the time, exercising always leaves you with a great buzz afterwards! This is the release of good chemicals in the brain. It’s our body’s own natural euphoria! Today is a good day to try it out. If you’re not t0o hot on exercise, maybe try something gentler like a swim or a yoga class. You could even take a nice evening stroll or a walk during your lunch break! In addition, pack a nice, pre-made lunch full of all the healthy goodness. The two combined will have you feeling great about yourself!
I could preach on and on about things that you could say and do to make yourself more confident. But I don’t want to overload – these are the basics and they’re a good starting point. So let’s break the cycle together. Give these four things a try today or tomorrow and stick at it for the day. See how you feel. Let’s focus on boosting the body positivity and breaking bad habits!