Ideas for a Positive Body Image

Sherri Theoharidis in the UK developed the following list, which we have added a few suggestions to as well.

AWARENESS 

You now know what kind of thoughts and messages are negative and contribute to poor body image. 

Listening for them in yourself and others is the first step! 

Surround yourself with positive people. Look for others who demonstrate positive body image and attitude and learn from their example 

Remember that everyone feels self-conscious from time to time. It’s normal. And, no one is perfect. 

Everyone has parts of their physical appearance they like and like less. ~Acknowledge it, don’t focus on it. It doesn’t define who we are. 

Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. 

ACCEPTANCE 

Decrease how much attention you give to those negative thoughts about your body. Let them come and pass until they begin to lose momentum. earn mindfulness techniques to do this.

Substitute unhelpful body thoughts with ones that are kind, accepting, and forgiving. Begin to talk to yourself as you would a loved one. 

Wear clothes that are comfortable and make you feel good about your body. Take the focus off numbers and onto colors, styles, textures. ~instead of hiding in black, wear blue to accentuate your eyes ~instead of “waiting till you lose weight” find a few items that fit you NOW to feel good in 

APPRECIATION 

Appreciate all that your body can do… can you play sport, go walking, make babies - your body is truely amazing Instead of asking others what part of their body do they like ask them what is the best thing their body can do.

Keep a top 10 list of things you like about yourself (unrelated to weight or appearance). Read this list often. Have a friend help you get started. 

Do something nice for yourself and let your body know you appreciate it! Take a bath, a nap, a relaxing 

walk. 

Remember that feeling good about yourself starts from the inside out.

 

Sherri Theoharidis, Ph.D. UMKC Counseling, Health & Testing Center