Turn on the TV, scroll through social media feeds and flick through any glossy magazine and images of beautiful, slender, perfect people are smiling back at you. With the constant bombardment of perfection it is little surprise that men and women of all ages sometimes feel inadequate and unhappy with their own looks and ashamed of their bodies.
For some people it is a real, medical issue, for others they simply feel they don’t quite measure up to celebrities or friends who look as if they have just walked out of a salon. The reality is there’s only one you and you are worth celebrating because whilst none of us are perfect, we can be happy.
We have some top tips about how to keep things in perspective so you feel positive about yourself and love the skin you are in.
Rather than hating your body and hiding it away get to know it and start to love and embrace it. Sometimes it can be hard to look at yourself in the mirror but try it each day and start to see you as a whole person. The thought of looking at your naked body might scare you now but you will slowly start to appreciate the lumps and bumps and become fond of the odd wrinkle and grey hair. Rather than hating them, why not love the legs that helped you run a 10km race, the wobbly tummy that was home to your babies and the face that is lined with love, laughter and life?
Identify the parts of your body you do like – even Kate Moss with have something she isn’t keen on and will focus on, however air brushed the image. Maybe you have lovely hands, sparkly eyes or glossy hair? Whatever you love, embrace it, celebrate it and use it as a foundation for building a more confident you.
Nurturing your body and respecting it for what it does for you can make a huge difference. Eat good food, drink plenty of water, take time out to relax and get enough sleep and you will find you boost your body and mind.
Think about all the positives in your life that aren’t connected to your body or looks. Your family and friends, your achievements, your qualities as a friend, your home, your pets, a holiday in the future, anything that makes you feel good and want to smile.
Fill your life with positive people who make you feel good and who you can trust.
Don’t follow fashion fads, find your own style and stick to it. We can’t all wear tiny mini skirts, have our hair in a pixie crop or totter around in six-inch heels and there’s no reason why we should. Maybe you’re a hat person or look great in dark jeans and a crisp white shirt, or you are a diva with accessories? Find your thing and the compliments will follow and give you a real boost.
Use positive affirmations to stop the voices in your head that tell you that you aren’t good enough. Simply sticking a Post It by your mirror saying ‘You are good enough’ and saying this to yourself during the day can start to shift the negative mind set you are in. If you don’t love yourself how can anyone else?
If you feel that things are spiralling out of control, talk to someone. Maybe you have a friend or family member you can turn to, if not your GP can be a good starting point. Remember, what we see isn’t what others see and by speaking to someone out of the situation you might just be able to be set free from those voices chattering in your head!
Focusing on ‘you’ can be all consuming and sometimes looking at what is happening in the bigger world helps gain perspective. Doing voluntary work in a local hospice or on a hospital ward can really bolster your confidence and make you feel better about yourself and your lot.
Start making small changes today and you will be amazed at the differences you will see.