Improve Your Body Image
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: February 23 to March 1
Many Americans take a look at themselves in the mirror and aren’t fond of what they see. It’s unfortunate, as everyone is beautiful in their own way—and trying to improve your body image will help allow yourself to see the beauty in you. Here are some ways you can do so:
- Take the sticky note challenge! Operation Beautiful’s mission is to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find. These notes should brighten their day with words such as “You are beautiful, ” or “Beauty doesn’t come in a size, ” scribbled on them. Take this mission and put your own spin on it, to benefit your own image.1 Stick them on your mirrors, your dresser, your door, and other places around your home to remind yourself that you are you, and there is no one else like you.1 You’re beautiful. Then, if you wish, take it into public.1 Put them in stairwells, a random aisle in the store, or in a public bathroom. The more you see positive messages, the more you believe them—and you should because they are true!1
- Create a media ban! It’s everywhere—too thin models plastered on billboards, in magazines, on commercials, all over the internet. It’s normal to compare yourself to them, but it isn’t healthy.1 Not even the people in those photographs look that way—Photoshop takes away all the “flaws” that create real beauty. Try to minimize your exposure to them for a month, and see how much better you feel.1 (Probably a lot!) Fight the social pressure and improve your body image.1
- Refuse negative self-talk! According to research, our brains do not know the difference between something it hears, thinks, or says.1 Therefore, anything you hear, think, or say about body image really does damage.1 Telling your friend that she needs to lose five pounds is the same thing as telling yourself that you do, too.1 Your brain takes in that information and thinks the message was directed at yourself.1 Don’t say it, don’t listen to it, and don’t think about it. Think positive, and you will feel more positive about yourself.
- Try and heal your body image issues! There are dozens of self-help books out there that can help you focus on healing your negative views on your own image.1 There are videos, quotes, public talks, therapists, and more that can help you turn your negative views around. You deserve it—you deserve self-love.
With February being International Self-Love month and this week being Eating Disorders Awareness Week, it’s time to focus on yourself and get some of that compassion back for you.1 Your body, and mind, will thank you for it.