Did you know that any bad feelings about your body can cause depression, eating disorders, and other mental problems? In the US, 84% of women and 74% of men are unhappy with how they look - their body image.
Research shows that a lack of body confidence can sometimes lead to mental health issues, depression and eating disorders. In the US, as many as 84% of and 74% of men are unhappy with how they look and their body image.
Body confidence is linked with body image, self-worth, self-esteem as well as people’s mental health and wellbeing. There’s no doubt that the happier you are with your body, the more confident you will be in your life.
But not having confidence in how you look and feel, and not being able to accept your body is not a lifelong situation. By focusing on more positivity and changing your mindset, it is possible to become body confident. Here are 7 ways to help you grow confidence in your body.
7 ways to body confidence
- Move your body to your favorite song – it's well-known that exercising is hugely beneficial for our bodies, but did you know that it's also healthy for your mind? Whether it's going to an exercise class, taking a daily walk, going swimming, or dancing to your favorite song, moving your body boosts your happy hormones. In fact, a study showed there is a link between body confidence and exercise in that after just 20-30 minutes of exercise, people felt better about their bodies than those who spent that time reading.
- Wear clothes that fit your body, not an image – there are all sorts of reasons why someone might gain a little weight; menopause being one! When this happens, don't be tempted to squeeze into clothes that are now a bit small for you. This will only leave you feeling uncomfortable and negative. Instead, buy and wear clothes that fit your new figure and boost your confidence.
- Follow your body type on social media – did you know that the average clothes size for women is between 16 and 18? Bet that surprised you! That's not all; women's bra sizes have also increased. 60 years ago, the average was 34B; today it's 34DD! So, next time you see images promoting the 'perfect' women's size as 8 or 10, be confident in that this is not the majority of women. Boost your body confidence by following people on social media that are more like your own body shape and type.
- Put away those bathroom scales – who needs bathroom scales? In fact, nobody does and that's because everyone's weight will be different for a variety of reasons. Another point to remember is that your body will fluctuate by as much as 5 or 6 pounds every day, no matter what you're doing! Standing on your bathroom scales isn't going to help your motivation or boost your confidence. There are so many other ways to measure your weight loss or fitness progress, like the way your clothes fit, your BMI, and just by looking in the mirror.
- Spoil yourself – you may not be confident about your body right now but that’s no reason to treat it with disrespect. Take the time to spoil your body, and yourself. It's the only body you have so isn't it worth treating it to a little pampering? Treat it to that extra hour's lie-in on a Sunday morning. Go for a relaxing walk and sit down to take in the view. Indulge in a scented bubble bath and get that body butter out from the back of the bathroom cabinet. Spoiling yourself is potent in that it relaxes the body and mind, triggering your happy hormones. It's even beneficial in boosting your mood, improving your sleep, and can reduce those aches and pains!
- Think healthy, not skinny – not everyone's body shape is the same, and no matter what you do, it isn't going to be the same. Dieting and exercising shouldn't be a chore; they should be healthy and fun. Just because you're not a size 8, 10, or 12, it doesn't mean you're not healthy and beautiful; you are. Change the narrative; instead of thinking about dieting, change it to eating healthily. Instead of focusing on exercise to be skinny, change it to exercising to tone your body and improve your fitness. Changing the way you think about what you eat and how you exercise not only reduces stress levels, it puts the fun back into your life.
- Be positive – there’s an old saying, be grateful for what you have rather than what you wish for. Shifting your body focus on what you have got and what your body can do is the start of changing to a positive mindset. Think about what you do like about your body and focus on those rather than what you don’t like. Avoid comparing yourself to others as this is more likely to foster negativity than positivity; every person is beautiful and no one person is the same. You are unique and that’s something to be proud of. It would be a bit of a boring world if we all looked the same!
Building your body confidence is not going to happen immediately. Sometimes the conditioning society has imposed on people can be deep set. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to change the way you feel about your body; you can. With time and a desire to feel better about yourself, your body confidence index will burst through.