- With so many unattainable images of perfection in advertising and on social media, it can sometimes be hard to love what you see in the mirror.
- But according to mental health expert David Brudö, the way to feel truly body positive doesn’t come from looking more like others you consider beautiful.
- It’s about reframing your own thoughts and assumptions and seeing the individual beauty you hold yourself.
- He told INSIDER seven messages that can help you on the way to being more accepting of your flaws and appreciating your body exactly as it is.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
As much as you try and feel good about your appearance, some days it can feel like more of a struggle when you look in the mirror.
David Brudö, the CEO and co-founder of mental wellbeing app Remente, told INSIDER that body positivity is all about accepting and embracing not just yourself, but also the bodies of others no matter the size, form, or appearance.
Being plagued by images of unrealistic beauty standards in advertising and social media is bound to have an impact on how we see ourselves. But according to Brudö, the way to feel truly body positive doesn’t come from looking more like others you consider beautiful. It’s about reframing your own thoughts and assumptions and seeing the individual beauty you hold yourself.
“Those that are body positive do not allow these aforementioned beauty standards to impact their confidence, self-esteem, or self-worth,” he said. “By promoting self-love, those that are body positive can inspire others to follow suit, and encourage them to practice self-love, and self-acceptance.”
Brudö listed seven messages that you can tell yourself to help you on the way to being more accepting of your flaws, and those of others, and appreciating your body exactly as it is.
1. Forget about what others think
A lot of our feelings of self-consciousness come from worrying about what other people think. You may be feeling like everyone is judging your hair, makeup, skin, or figure. But in reality, people aren’t paying nearly as much attention to you as you think they are.
“Once you stop worrying about how other people see you, you will find that you obsess over your perceived flaws less,” Brudö said.
2. Try to regain control
Much of this sense of unease can come from the feeling that you’re not in control, Brudö said. For instance, you may wish to be the most attractive, funny, charismatic person in the room. But nobody is perfect, and the most important thing is to find people who love and respect you just as you are.
“Once you have identified the root cause for the negativity that you are feeling, you need to decide if it is in your power to change it,” said Brudö. “If the issue is outside of your control, you should accept that you can’t change the situation, and instead concentrate on positive actions that you can take instead.”
3. Show off your skills
Rather than focusing on your weaknesses, think about what sets you apart from others in a positive way. If you fixate on the negatives all the time, this can impact your mental health in all sorts of ways, like manifesting as a lack of confidence in your appearance.
“Do the things that you know you are a pro at,” Brudö said. “Being relaxed will help you release the negative thoughts and be more comfortable in your own body.”
4. Listen to others
While it’s normal to have an off day, feeling down all the time and finding your negative thoughts are taking over can be a sign of something more serious.
If you think this is happening, Brudö said you should reach out to those closest to you for their honest opinion.
“You might find that the thing you like least about yourself, is actually the thing that they like most,” he said.
5. Focus on being healthy
If you’re obsessing over how you look, you may be neglecting the very things that make you look and feel better, Brudö said, like eating well and exercising regularly.
“It is important that you carry on eating properly and doing some exercise (in moderation, not excess), as that will boost your endorphins, and improve such things as quality of sleep,” he said.
6. Know your triggers
It’s really important to work out and be aware of the things that leave you feeling unhappy. If you identify a trigger that makes you feel bad mentally, emotionally, or physically, then you should limit your exposure to them as much as possible.
“For example, if large meetings stress you out, try to book one-on-ones instead,” said Brudö. “Sit down and take note of the situations that cause you to feel anxious, then make a plan on how to improve them – you will instantly start to feel better.”
7. Always communicate
As is usually the case when it comes to mental health, communication is really important if you’re feeling down about your appearance. Brudö said talking to a friend or loved one is a great way to stop those negative thoughts entering your mind, and speaking out loud can actually help you stop over-thinking things.
“Whenever we ruminate, we tend to lose perspective, only seeing certain aspects of the situation,” he said. “Talking to a friend will not only make you feel better, but it can also provide a different viewpoint, thus actually resolving the problem.”
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