Actress Lucille Ball hit the nail on the head when she said: “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line,” but it’s easier said than done.
Far too many women and men are so critical of their own looks they don’t even realise how often they put themselves down.
Constantly joking about the cellulite on the back of your thighs or moaning about the muffin top around your mid section isn’t healthy, and while it’s ok to want to better your health and feel your best, you should also learn to love the skin you’re in and this is how you can.
Sounds simple doesn’t it, and it really can be. When a negative thought pops into your head replace it with a compliment. It may feel awkward to tell yourself how fabulous your lashes are or how slim your ankles look, but once you get into a rhythm it’ll begin to feel natural.
“We need to silence our “thought bullies; Ms. Perfectionist and Inner Critic,” says Rebecca Scritchfield RDN, EP-C author of Body Kindness and host of the Body Kindness podcast. “ We can do this by doing what we did to playground bullies.
Refuse to engage with them and find other friends. If you think about it, your negative thoughts are just words and they don’t have to have power over you. Stop playing “tug of war” in your mind. Don’t expect the thought to go away, but don’t respond either.”
Telling other people how great they look, or even just giving them a tiny thumbs up will not only make you feel good it’ll maybe make you take a peak at your own self and realize you’ve got fabulous features too.
Plus give someone else some confidence and you’ll probably find they’ll repay the compliment too.
Beauty also comes from attributes such as humour, compassion, selflessness and intelligence. Make a list of all the great things about yourself and focus on those and not just what you look like.
“Speak kindly to yourself,” adds Scritchfield. “Write down your criticisms and then replace it with a TRUE affirmation, something like: I’m grateful for my friends. I did a good job on my work project. You want to get a list of worthiness notes.”
If you can’t stop looking at yourself in a negative way, Scritchfield suggests taking a break from your reflection for a while.
“If you use your mirror as a way to judge your appearance, push pause for a while. Cover them up with positive body-loving quotes, pictures, or pretty wrapping paper instead. Notice when you feel good seeing the photos and quotes and then after you’ve had some time off, reveal the mirrors with a newfound commitment to only look for a few seconds without the side of shame.”
Have a Social Media Cleanse
Social media can be a confidence booster or a confidence killer and if you aren’t feeling your best it’s likely to be the latter.
So if looking at Instagram, Facebook or Twitter is making you green with envy and miserable about your own appearance it’s probably time for a social media cleanse.
“All bodies are good bodies,” says Scritchfield.
But if having a curvy body type is what’s making you unhappy then “fill your social media feeds with larger bodied folks instead of diet-culture messages that make you compare and despair – unfollow those that don’t make you smile.”
If you enjoyed this article you might want to also read about How to Banish Stress Instantly and Feel Happy and Calm, and find out How You Can Get to Grips With Guilt and Banish Those Feelings of Blame.