In a world of fake and unattainable standards, it has become increasingly hard to fall in love with yourself and just truly appreciate you. However, it is possible to live a fulfilling life whichever way you look or feel; it is possible to get to acceptance and illuminating joy.
It is common for young people to feel increasingly uncomfortable with their bodies as changes occur during adolescence. Low self-esteem occurs when expectations of how you want your body to look do not match up to reality. These types of feelings can lead to distorted thoughts and emotions about your bodies and negative thoughts about body image and self-worth can lead to changes in eating and exercise behaviors.
Low expectations are a result of false expectations that your body fails to meet due to various reasons. The following are some steps to take to improve your body image and happiness in your life;
- Recognize that beauty, health and strength come in all sizes. Real beauty encompasses what is inside, your zest for life, your fun-loving spirit, a smile that lights up your face, your compassion for others, says Carol Johnson, author of Self-Esteem Comes in all Sizes. It is being friendly, generous and loving, having strength and courage, and respecting yourself just as you are — goals that we all can achieve.
- Your body is okay. Your size is okay. The good news is that you can change how you feel about your body by changing your self-talk. If you are especially concerned over weight, understand that your body has an opinion of what it should weigh at this time in your life. It regulates weight around a set point that may be nearly impossible to change. Recognize how destructive the obsession to be thin is and how it harms the people you love, especially children. Your weight is not a measure of your self-worth. Accepting this can give you new freedom.
- Be size positive. Set an example of respect for size diversity. People naturally come in different sizes and builds, and that is okay. If you are a large woman it is especially important in our size-focused society to be a role model who radiates confidence, self-respect and friendliness for other adults and children who, sadly, may fear going out in public.
Or, if you are a thin person, keeping thin through semi-starvation, remember this means an anorexic personality (anxiety, irritability, depression, inability to concentrate, social withdrawal, isolation from friends and family, preoccupation with food, loneliness, lack of compassion and generosity, self-centeredness), weak and brittle bones, and other serious health issues. Our society is currently obsessed with thinness, which hurts us all. When will this nation come to its senses, reject size prejudice, accept a wider range of shapes and sizes, and focus on health rather than weight? We each can do our part to bring about this healthful change.
- Dress for success. Dress in ways that make you feel good, that make your own statement and, most of all, that fit now. Clean out your closet of clothes that do not fit; clothes you can wear only during dieting bouts. Give away or store too-small clothing. This makes room for clothes you will enjoy wearing.
- Want what you have – contentment.The secret to happiness is not to get what you want, but to want what you have . Though much underrated today, contentment has long been valued in world religions and philosophy. Realizing the full measure of our abundance can bring true happiness.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Have you inventoried the richness of your life assets? Try it. Add to that inventory and each day write down three things you are grateful for in your gratitude journal. It can be humbling to realize the abundance of riches we have, and how much we take it for granted. The everyday joys of family, friends, home, community, country, health, work and the wonder of nature are all around us. Contemplating this can bring you deep serenity.
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques. Relaxation relieves stress and enhances our lives. Stress overload is linked to many health problems, such as exhaustion, insomnia, headache, diarrhea, anxiety, restlessness, depression, abuse of alcohol, increased risk of heart attack and weakened immune system. Relaxing is like re-booting a stressed-out computer. Everything works better afterward.
- Choose self-care. Set aside time every day for yourself. Take time for self-care and healing. Invest in small things that enrich your life: listening to music, reading a novel, napping after lunch, laughing with your spouse or best friend, eating a nourishing meal, telephoning a friend, taking a stretch break at your desk, enjoying a sunset.
- Live assertively. Assertiveness allows people to express their honest feelings and opinions comfortably, to be open and direct, without anxiety or guilt, and to obtain their personal rights without denying the rights of others. Assertive persons respect themselves, speak calmly and clearly, maintain eye contact, project their voices, and smile sincerely when they mean it. By contrast, responding to others in passive or aggressive ways involves manipulation that respects neither yourself nor them.
- Strengthen your social support . Include pleasant and stimulating interaction with others in your day, every day. Maintain nourishing relationships with family and friends. Promote communication and sharing of feelings in appropriate ways. Encourage positive self-talk, praise and support for each other. Getting involved in volunteer work is an excellent way to increase your social network as you lend a helping hand and a helping heart.
- Shape a healthy balance. You will feel better and have more energy when you develop healthy living habits that come so naturally and feel so normal you hardly think about them. Normalize your life by being regularly active and keeping yourself well nourished without dieting. Take care of your health, but do not obsess over it or struggle for perfection. Find a satisfying balance of wellness and wholeness that works for you at this time in your life and helps you live the way you want.
Sourced from: http://www.healthyweightnetwork.com/size1.htm