If you have a positive body image, you probably like and accept yourself the way you are, even if you don’t fit some media “ideal.” This healthy attitude allows you to explore other aspects of growing up, such as developing good friendships, becoming more independent from your parents, and challenging yourself physically and mentally. Developing these parts of yourself can help boost your self-esteem.
A positive, optimistic attitude can help people develop strong self-esteem. For example, if you make a mistake, you might want to say, “Hey, I’m human” instead of “Wow, I’m such a loser” or not blame others when things don’t go as expected.
Knowing what makes you happy and how to meet your goals can help you feel capable, strong, and in control of your life. A positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle (such as exercising and eating right) are a great combination for building good self-esteem.
Tips for Improving Body Image
Some people think they need to change how they look to feel good about themselves. But all you need to do is change the way you see your body and how you think about yourself. Here are some tips on doing that:
Recognize that your body is your own, no matter what shape or size it comes in. Try to focus on how strong and healthy your body is and the things it can do, not what’s wrong with it or what you feel you want to change about it. If you’re worried about your weight or size, check with your doctor to verify that things are OK. But it’s no one’s business but your own what your body is like — ultimately, you have to be happy with yourself.
Identify which aspects of your appearance you can realistically change and which you can’t. Humans, by definition, are imperfect. It’s what makes each of us unique and original! Everyone (even the most perfect-seeming celeb) has things that they can’t change and need to accept — like their height, for example, or their shoe size. Remind yourself that “real people aren’t perfect and perfect people aren’t real (they’re usually airbrushed!)”.
If there are things about yourself that you want to change and can, do this by making goals for yourself. For example, if you want to get fit, make a plan to exercise every day and eat healthy. Then keep track of your progress until you reach your goal. Meeting a challenge you set for yourself is a great way to boost self-esteem!
When you hear negative comments coming from within, tell yourself to stop. Appreciate that each person is more than just how he or she looks on any given day. We’re complex and constantly changing. Try to focus on what’s unique and interesting about yourself.
Try building your self-esteem by giving yourself three compliments every day. While you’re at it, every evening list three things in your day that really gave you pleasure. It can be anything from the way the sun felt on your face, the sound of your favorite band, or the way someone laughed at your jokes. By focusing on the good things you do and the positive aspects of your life, you can change how you feel about yourself.
Some people with physical disabilities or differences may feel they are not seen for their true selves because of their bodies and what they can and can’t do. Other people may have such serious body image issues that they need a bit more help. Working with a counselor or therapist can help some people gain perspective and learn to focus on their individual strengths as well as develop healthier thinking