How Do I Become More Body Positive?
So... How do I become more body positive and learn to like myself a little more? This is a question that I’m asked on a regular basis and I always find it difficult to summarise into a quick response because, like any big change, it takes time and consistency, so I thought it would be a great idea to put some basics together for anyone wanting to make a quick start with creating some good habits.
Obviously, my work with clients is often bespoke and organic and it does depend on their specific needs and unique qualities, but I find I always refer to the same important points in some form, to guide them towards a healthier mind set about themselves, which I'll share with you here.
I think it’s fair to say that for the most part, we girls give ourselves a bit of a hard time in the old beauty and body stakes. Always comparing, buying, trying and reading about how we can make ourselves look more gorgeous, which to be honest can be really time consuming and can often leave you feeling a bit flat.
Don’t get me wrong there’s absolutely nothing wrong with self-development and I’m all for learning to Rock What You’ve already got in new ways but sometimes we forget to start at the beginning and actually take the time to look and really appreciate what we have already on a basic level. We all have such a lot to offer but have developed such bad habits focusing on and picking out our flaws alone. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and thought…”you know what… I’m okay with me”? Or "looking good missus"!
Now I realise, some of you may be thinking "flippin eck" I can’t remember when” or if “I’ve ever done that”, so if that’s the case then maybe today is the day you give it a whirl. If you can feel ok without your make up, clothes and accessories then imagine how great you’ll feel with them all intact.
I know, I know, you’re probably feeling a little uncomfortable at the thought of staring at your naked self and feeling all fabulous at this stage, as I’m quite aware that the mere mention of a mirror can fill you with a sense of dread, but if you don’t want them to make you feel this way, then why not read on.
So as a bit of a starting block to learning the ART OF BEING YOU, I’ve summarised a handful of my mind ful tips below to help you think about or try and start planting those positive first seeds. On a lighter note it’s funny to notice that I've concocted this ironic and fitting acronym S.W.E.A.R lol… and I feel it makes a bold enough statement to remember....
SMILE the next time you look in the mirror. Try not to focus on any imperfections you believe you have, instead, look at the face looking back at you with a less critical eye and just smile. The smallest of steps really are the most important ones and smiling alone creates a physical and emotional response within. Smiles are both priceless and an infectious start to the day if you do it first thing too. From the simple grin, you can then start to cast your eyes more favourably to other parts of the body and give them a nod, wink or smile too with time.
WRITE something positive on your mirror in lipstick or on a stick it note. I often use the popular phrase “I AM ENOUGH” but you can use whatever resonates with you. Maybe find a meme you like and print it out. With anything, the more you do it, see it, say it and hear it, the more the message sticks. Consistency is a powerful thing and if you pop it somewhere in your eye line it will be a constant reminder and hopefully condition your mind. You could even start a journal, if you like to put pen to paper, and keep it next to your bed so that you can pop down any negative thoughts and challenge them with a positive.
EDUCATE yourself to seek the good stuff. It takes time to season your mind to ignore the negative things you see in the mirror but it always helps if you’re aware that there’s lots of support out there with people feeling exactly the same as you and talking about it in forums and groups. Surround yourself with positive peeps and likeminded folks who are singing from the same song sheet and listen to their advices. Check out Dove’s Beauty Campaign and the Be Real Campaign for starters on social media platforms. You can also read insightful books such as Louise Hay’s ‘Mirror Work’ and don’t forget to check out Taryn Brumfit’s Embrace documentary on YouTube for some seriously inspiring stuff.
APPRECIATE your skin and enjoy it with some “you time”. You can’t beat the satisfaction you gain from a bit of self-care and pampering, whether it is with a relaxing facial or a nourishing treatment. The more you feel deserving and relaxed, the more you’ll respect and be welcoming of being YOU. Enjoy treating yourself or even participating in an activity that makes you feel good and it doesn’t just have to be a physical pursuit either. Using your hands in a craft or your brain in a new skill, helps you realise how great your body and mind really is, you are so much greater than the look and sum of your body parts. This also leads me to the worthless act of comparing yourself to others. It really isn’t a valid thing to do because of our uniqueness and so if you think about it; it is a total waste of your precious time, though I am aware that it is a hard habit to crack. However, as the great Mr Robbins quotes “Where focus goes, energy flows” so keep at it.
REMEMBER that ANY negative belief you have about yourself is just that… a BELIEF. It’s not based on accurate facts or reality and may well have been planted by someone else’s opinion, belief or judgement and is therefore not valid. It’s their belief and not yours and you don’t need to adopt it... You have a choice. The next time your inner voice says something critical about yourself when looking in the mirror, acknowledge it and tell it to sit the hell down. Also, remember to cut down on the ‘Derogatory Talk’ too because you are listening after all, whether it’s with friends or muttered under your breath, it will only serve to strengthen your negativity further.
It’s not rocket science to learn that liking yourself potentially helps you in all matters of life but it’s often something we forget to do or even not carry out in the first place.
As an Image Coach and Body Positive Advocate with a holistic approach to Colour, Style and Confidence being YOU has never felt better so once you’ve started better habits you can then start to nurture yourself further with wearing beautiful colours, great fitting and flattering clothes in styles and genres you feel most comfortable in.
Dressing for you and feeling happy in your authentic self is a powerful thing indeed and starts the cycle of success which I totally believe is integral in a positive self-image.
I often use colour psychology to build useful anchors as an aide to outfit building for potentially important events that require confidence such as interviews, presentations and talks. Plus, we all know how wearing the right clothes for the right circumstances can help with esteem, practicality and translating great first impression before we even rock up or open our mouths, so you can see how having a more positive mind set to start with can set such a great base line from which to blossom.
So why not get stuck in to creating some fab new habits like the ones suggested above or even start your own and remember you totally deserve to feel good about you.
If you have any great ways of feeling more body positive or wish to suggest any, please do feel free to add your comments below as we’re all here to learn.