By Lauren Denos: 9/28/2014 (Mindset)

Self-image is how we see ourselves. It is so important to our happiness to see ourselves in a positive light, yet, for so many this is not the case. Most people have a bad view of themselves; believing they are ugly, fat,or, just in general, not good enough. The thing is, you can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You can always find flaws in yourself, or anyone else for that matter, if that is what you are looking for. So how can you start to change your self-image to help view yourself in a better light?

#1 Look at What You Do Love About Yourself

Instead of focusing on that little bit of extra fat you have around the mid-section, like you always do, study your strong arms, good skin, or beautiful hair. In other words, choose a good feature about yourself. Focus on it. This will greatly improve your personal outlook, and help diminish the negative messages and thoughts you've racked up internally. It won’t happen overnight, but it will dwindle overtime, and the positive thoughts will take over. Keeping that self-destructive mindset has no benefit, and will enslave you to stress and insanity. That’s definitely no way to live! So, learn to think positively! It will help you become healthier and live longer!

#2 Give Yourself a Break

Often times, we are so hard on ourselves because we expect perfection. But, that will never happen. We are human, not mythical creatures. The sooner this bit of knowledge sinks into not only your head, but also your heart, the quicker you can relax actually live life. Freely. You will always be a work in progress, and that’s not a bad thing. Life is a journey. A learning process.

#3 Workout!

Obviously, exercise helps with body image. If you believe you are overweight, working out releases endorphins, giving your brain a boost, and making you feel better about yourself. For some people, they will instantly feel better about their appearance and their weight after a workout. Why? Exercise releases serotonin. Serotonin is a happy chemical your body releases that makes you feel great. So, working out has some incredible health, and self-image benefits to it.

#4 Dress in a Way That Makes You Feel Good

It may seem like a superficial solution, but it does help. When we dress for our body type, and in a way that expresses our personality, we look and feel better about ourselves. On the flip side, when we dress in clothes that are too small for us, it creates quite a different image. For examples, have you seen women who wear pants that are a couple sizes too small? What happens? It creates the muffin top.

Here’s a secret: no matter how thin you are, wearing clothes that are too small never looks good. People tend to do this, though, because they are worried about the number on their pants. Here’s another secret. It’s just a number. No one else sees it.

So, don’t worry about sizes when you’re picking out clothes. Select ones that fit you. Not only will they look great on you, but also you will feel great while wearing them!

#5 Feed Yourself Food That Will Make You Feel Good

Food is a powerful tool. It can help your body lean down, gain weight, boost optimal nutrients to become healthier, and affect your mind. Simply eating food, especially healthier ones, is very good for you. Good food creates better energy levels, which, in turn, can make everything look more appetizing in our eyes. When you are feeding yourself food that will help you accomplish your goal, you are inwardly saying that you consider yourself a priority. That is a big deal.

#6 Look at the Things You Have Accomplished

Now, granted this one is not strictly about whether or not you see yourself as pretty or thin, but it does affect how you rate yourself on the self-worth scale. This score makes a crucial difference to everything else in your life. When you feel like you are worth more, you can start to believe that you deserve to have a healthier body. As a result, you will be more apt stick with a fitness and nutrition regimen. I know that sounds weird, but many people do not eat right, but still workout because they have such bad self-esteem. They do not think they are worth the effort.

To curb this, start listing all the things you have accomplished, and read it often!!

#7 Be Your Own Cheer Leader and Best Friend

Many people are their own worst enemy. All they focus on are the flaws, and completely ignore their wonderful traits that friends and family see and comment on.

Here is the truth: you are the one person who will be with you until the day you die. You are the person who you have to live with 24/7.

Knowing that, doesn't it make sense to be your own best friend? Start to look at what is best about you, and continue on as your own cheerleader while you better yourself.

#8 Do Not Compare Yourself to Anyone Else

This is huge - especially in this age of advanced technology and having information at our fingertips. Social media plays an enormous role in creating venues in which we compare ourselves to everyone else. The thing is, you are seeing someone’s highlight reels – not the whole story. Many photos are altered, so keep that in mind as well. Photoshop is very common and active among social media all around the world. So, instead of comparing yourself to anyone else, just concentrate on you. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself possible! Just be you!

You have the power and ability to change anything in your life whenever you want. Whether this means in your mind, or changing something about your body – you can do it! You are in charge! This includes how you feel about yourself, how you see yourself and even how you make decisions. When you realize this power, you’ll be able to see yourself you change, and everything in your life will become exponentially better!





 

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-Lauren