As you walk down the street today, imagine if every third person you saw suffered from low self-esteem and poor body image. Does this seem hard to believe? I recently read an article in Consumer Affairs that reported the findings of a recent study showing that one out of three adults suffer from low body image or very low body image.
If you suffer from low body image, many times your self-esteem is low as well. And having your self-esteem dependent upon your body image can “cause some long-lasting problems,” says Clinical Psychologist, Elvira G. Aletta, Ph.D. Problems like eating disorders that both women and men suffer from. (Source)
So what can we do for ourselves or how can we help others who suffer from low-body image or low self-esteem?
1. Look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment every morning. In other words, learn to retrain your brain “to think positively about your reflection and your body,” suggests body image expert and therapist Lori Osachy. She says do it “even if you have to fake being self-confident at first.” (Source)
2. Think if a dear friend was beating themselves up about their body image the way you do — then take your own advice and give yourself some kindness.
3. Change your reason for eating healthy and exercising from body image and weight to staying healthy for yourself and the people you love.
4. Instead of focusing on the body parts you don’t like try to focus on the marvelous things they allow you to do. (When my grandma lost the use of her legs, I remember I had a whole new view of how amazing it was that I was able to walk.)
5. “Pay more attention to the entire person you are, meaning your personality, how you treat others, how important you are to your family, and so on.” (Source)
6. Volunteer. It’s hard to focus on yourself when you are helping others.
7. Hang with people who support your positive changes and self-growth.
8. De-stress. Sometimes we are less apt to beat ourselves up when we are relaxed: Meditate, walk, breathe deeply, find activities you love to do — and do them regularly.