Body confidence is something most people struggle with at least once in their life.
Social media, societal ‘beauty’ standards and more recently government policy, has made us feel more self conscious than ever about out bodies.
Although things are getting better with the body positive movement shutting down the stereotypes of the ‘perfect body’, low body confidence is still a huge problem!
It can be easy to appreciate other peoples bodies but difficult to show the same love to our own.
As someone who has struggled with low body confidence, body dysmorphia and an eating disorder, I know how hard it is to change the way you think about your body. Especially if you’ve been thinking the same way for years.
I have learnt a lot from doing therapy and along my body confidence journey. I still have a long way to go but I am a lot better than I used to be.
These 7 tips have helped me increase my body confidence and SPOILER ALERT none of them include losing weight!
Tip #1 Notice Negative Self Talk
The first step to increasing your body confidence is accepting and acknowledging that you are talking negatively about yourself. Whether this negative self talk is in your head or out loud, it is important to notice it.
You can then challenge these thoughts and work on turning them into positive thoughts instead.
When you notice a negative thought about your body pop into your mind, acknowledge it and combat it by saying 3 good things about yourself. This doesn’t have to be physical, it can be about your personality too.
Make sure you reinforce to yourself and your brain that this thought is just a thought. Thoughts are not fact.
Another way to combat these negative thoughts is to ask yourself – “would I say this to someone else or myself as a child” – if you are a nice person (which I’m sure you are), you wouldn’t ever say the things you say about yourself, about others.
Tip #2 Affirmations
Affirmations are positive statments that can help you overcome negative thoughts about yourself. When you repeat them, you start to believe them.
Affirmations feel kinda weird to do at first, especially if you are saying them into a mirror BUT they are so good at increasing body confidence.
Try saying affirmations every morning and night for at least 2 weeks and see how you feel.
There are many different affirmations you could try but to get you started here are some of my favourite:
- I love and respect my body
- I am thankful for my body and for everything it can do
- My worth is not defined by how I look
- I am loved just the way I am and I don’t need to change.
Feel free to come up with your own or find some more that resonate with you.
Tip #3 Say Thank You For Compliments
Getting compliments is lovely but sometimes when we are feeling negative about ourselves we can shut them down and deny them.
Not only does this make you feel bad as you are reinforcing your negative thoughts but it can also make the person giving you a compliment feel bad too!
I had never thought about this before my therapist pointed out that shutting down a compliment will make the person giving it feel like you dont trust them or that they cannot give you the love they want to give.
Next time someone give you a compliment, try to avoid saying something like “No I’m not I’m [insert a self depreciating adjective here]” and try simply saying “thank you”.
Even if this doesn’t make you feel better straight away, it will make the person who complimented you happy (which is a win in itself).
Tip #4 Switch Up Your Social Media
We all know social media can be harmful to our self esteem especially if we’re already in a bad mindset.
Deleting Instagram was one of the best things I ever did for my mental health and I would recommend it to everyone if I could!
In reality, you probably don’t want to delete your social media accounts completely but there are some things you can do to help reduce the negative impact it has on your body confidence.
- Unfollow people who make you feel bad about yourself
- Follow body positivity accounts
- Have social media free days (especially on bad days)
Unfollow all those models that make you feel like sh*t, unfollow your friends finsta if she wont stop posting negative things about her body and unfollow any eating disorder promotion pages.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for unfollowing people if they are making you feel bad about yourself, you are allowed to not follow them and your mental health comes first!
Following body positive accounts is really good as you can interact other people who are on the same self love journey as you.
Having a break from social media is good for your mental health generally and it is important to step away from it and connect to the real world!
Tip #5 Focus On Your Non-Physical Qualities
Your body or the way you look does not determine your worth. Let me repeat that. Your body or the way you look does not determine your worth.
Our self worth is based on our non physical qualities such as your kindness, respect for others and your talents.
Make a list of all the non-physical qualities you like about yourself and make sure you read it regularly. Why not ask your friends and family to add to the list too!
Tip #6 Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Good
Everyone has to wear clothes (I mean if you don’t, good on you) but that doesn’t mean you have to wear clothes that make you feel like crap.
Experiment with clothes, see what makes you feel the most fabulous and wear more of them. It doesn’t matter what other people think, if you feel good in it thats all that matters.
You wont find me wearing a skin tight dress but a cute lil peplum dress, I’d dig that!
The same goes for make-up. If you dont like wearing tons of make-up you dont have to. If you want to wear a full face everyday, you go girl!
You just need to focus on what makes YOU feel amazing.
Tip #7 Reach Out and Get Support
If your low body confidence is affecting your day to day life and you feel it is getting too much, please reach out and get support.
Therapy honestly saved me from a very dangerous negative mindset and I would recommend therapy to everyone.
Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of and can really help some people.
If you need help – talk to someone you trust, make an appointment with a doctor or maybe seek counselling.
If you or someone you know, needs help with an eating disorder or another mental health issue, here are some useful websites:
More Related Mental Health Content:
- 21 Journal Prompts For Mental Health
- Self Care Ideas For Depression
- How To Cope With Post Lockdown Anxiety
Final Thoughts On Body Confidence
Everyone is beautiful and worthy of love. Remember that you are not defined by the way you look and your worth is not related to your body. YOU ARE AMAZING!
I really hope that these tips help you increase your body confidence and self esteem.
If you have any body confidence tips, please share them with everyone in the comments!
Thank you for reading,