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Life and Religion

How to change your image
Feeling good about your appearance begins within
Published Thursday, August 7, 2014 11:20 am
by Valecia Weeks, Houston Forward Times

Why do we, particularly women, care about how we look? Since the beginning of time, women have concerned themselves with their appearance and how physically attractive they are. However, in these modern times this normal concern has turned into an obsession for far too many of us.

The message of today is that thin is in. Unfortunately for many of us, this standard of beauty is unattainable, yet our body image is based on how well we stack up to those images of women whose bodies have been photoshopped, cut and pasted into magazines or on TV.

When we view our body image poorly, that not only decreases general life satisfaction and happiness but can also cause severe eating disorders. Making a targeted effort to improve body images for ourself and our loved ones could be a smart, even life altering, thing to do.  But how?

The answer to this question is much deeper than just physically working out to improve your body image. Now, don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with working out to improve your body (especially when weight is compromising your health). Physical changes are great, but these changes must be accompanied by a shift in our mindset as well.

Here are a few ways you can boost your body image on a daily basis:

1. Pat yourself on the back

When you are asked to come up with something that you like about yourself, are you more likely to come up with physical attributes? That’s all good and dandy, but try to think beyond the physical attributes and focus on your uniqueness as an individual. For example, you can take pride in what a great mom you are or how you are such a great friend. 

2. Jot down compliments

When someone pays you a compliment, write it down in a journal or notebook. Then when you are having a rough day, you can pull out your journal, read your list of compliments and reminisce on the warm, fuzzy feeling that you felt when you first received them.

3. Exercise 

Studies show when individuals begin an exercise plan, they report increases in confidence, self-esteem and a decrease in negative body image (even when overweight or obese).

4. Be grateful

Appreciate your body for the great job it does carrying you through the grinding tasks you do on a daily basis. Massages, scented body lotions, and warm baths will have your body and your mind feeling great.

5. Stop negative self-talk immediately 

When you catch yourself slipping into negative self-talk (e.g. my thighs are so big, I hate my stomach, my nose is crooked and ugly, etc.) stop immediately.  Counter those negative thoughts with loving ones. Would you say such critical things to your best friend, your child or mother? Of course not! It’s time to become your own best friend and treat yourself with kindness and respect.

These are just a few tips to boost your image. Body image affects how you feel about yourself, how you project yourself, your relationships and how you care for your health. Try these tips today, and start living happier right now.

Visit Valecia Weeks online at www.assuringhands.massagetherapy.com.


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