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There are so many negative body image messages permeating society today. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, and often tempting, to jump on the latest diet trend.
How do we counteract the harmful effects of the media?
At times it can seem all-consuming, however, there are ways you can replace the detrimental messages with body love and reassurance. Here are some tips I have found helpful.
1. Surround yourself with positivity.
Hang words of affirmation and encouraging quotes around your home so you can constantly be reminded of the beauty in yourself, others, and the world.
2. Evaluate your inner circle.
This simply means you surround yourself with relationships that make you feel good about yourself and help you thrive. You will want to do your best to cut out or distance anyone who is negative or has ill effects on your mental health.
3. Avoid reading articles or purchasing magazines featuring weight loss tips, unrealistic portrayals of the human body, and advertise diets or over-exercising.
4. Do not view movies or TV shows that objectify women. Instead, choose to watch shows and movies featuring women as strong leaders.
5. Choose positive role models.
Often times, it is discouraging to look at celebrities and only see the cookie-cutter ideal portrayed. Focus on the encouraging and smart women in the media – like Demi Lovato, Mindy Kaling, or Kelly Clarkson.
6. Whenever you hear diet or body shaming talk on the radio, TV, or social media, take control and turn it off! You do not need to inadvertently allow pessimism to seep in.
7. Ditch the numbers!
Do not weigh yourself, count calories, or measure yourself in terms of clothing size. A number is just a number and it does not dictate your health and happiness. Use how you feel as a tool to gauge your health.
8. Create a self-care emergency kit.
This may seem odd at first but trust me, by putting self care on the fore front you are engaging in body love and acceptance which will be a powerful tool in combating negative messages.
9. Spend time doing what you love rather than over-exercising.
If you enjoy taking walks, playing with your dog, or practicing yoga, engage in these activities rather than hitting the gym. It is good for your mental health to move your body in ways that make you feel proud and happy rather than pushing it to fit a narrow societal ideal.
10. Treat yourself often!
Enjoy a long warm bath, a relaxing massage, or a pedicure. When you invest in caring for your body you will feel more confident, and in turn, love it more.
I hope these tips get the wheels in your head turning. My hope is for you to be able to combat the negative body image messages that get fed to us constantly. I’d love to hear your ideas on how to remain body positive in today’s society! Let’s band together to create a strong support system!
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