It’s hard to feel beautiful when we are constantly surrounded by hyper-filtered, over-glamorized photos of other attractive women. New research has shown that the negative body imagery shared through popular social media platforms, has opened up a new Instagram era of damaging mental health and low self-esteem issues.
However, it is always important to remind ourselves to feel beautiful, no matter what we’re looking at, or what shape or size we are. Here are the top ten positive ways you can start feeling good about yourself.
1. Avoid criticising yourself.
Try and describe yourself without listing any flaws. You’ll find that the first few words that come to mind are purely negative thoughts about your features. Avoid focusing on those flaws when talking about yourself. This will introduce a new and healthy habit in your life.
2. Learn to accept compliments.
As cringe-worthy as it is, you have to accept compliments, no matter what. If it’s too hard, just practice saying ‘thank you’ and move on. You don’t have to soak it up or worry about becoming narcissistic. Smiling and thanking the person is a good way to build a positive energy with the people you interact with, as well as building up good self-esteem.
3. Focus on your best features.
Create a list of things you love about yourself. This can be a physical part of your body (e.g. nice eyes, great lips, great hair) or something about your personality that you’re proud of. You’ll be surprised at what kind of amazing things you come up with. Once you’re done with your list, hang it up on a wall in the bedroom so you can read it whenever you feel down about yourself.
4. Turn the negatives into positives.
That stretch mark you don’t like, that bit of cellulite sticking out from your shorts, that strange freckle on your legs, those are the things you should love about yourself. Focus on uniqueness and the idea that these features make you perfect the way you are.
5. Get fit for health reasons, not for appearances.
The most convincing way to feel good about yourself is when you make positive diet and lifestyle changes. Take the courage to join a gym or take daily walks. Be more disciplined with your diet – drink plenty of water and reduce your sugar and fast food intake. Sugar is known to increase anxiety and give you low energy, so don’t binge on chocolate if you ever feel sad about yourself! You’ll be trapped in a never ending cycle of unhappiness!
6. Don’t compare yourself.
They say that comparison is the thief of joy – and this is truly relevant in modern day body imagery. Get off your phone and stop following those ‘fitspo’ girls on Instagram. Learn to love the body you have, you’re unique. When it comes to beauty, teach yourself to empower yourself and other women, rather than feeling jealous or tearing yourself down. You’ll find that you’re just as beautiful as everyone else in your own way.
7. Surround yourself with positive people.
Be ready to cut bullies and demons out of your life. Stay close to those who will bring you up, not tear you down.
8. Celebrate your achievements.
Don’t forget to praise yourself whenever you do something great. Positive reinforcement will motivate you to feel good about yourself and encourage you to do more things.
9. Learn to stop caring.
Last but not least, remind yourself that it’s important to not care about what other people think. Don’t give into negative comments and words of discouragement and remember that no one has any power over you.
10. Love yourself.
It’s common knowledge that you can’t love others until you can love yourself. How will you learn to care about those around you if you don’t accept who you are? Not loving ourselves discourages empathy, invites a judgemental nature and a jealous, dissatisfied heart. Enjoy being you.