The March issue of Glamour published an interesting article, “97% of Women Will Be Cruel To Their Bodies Today.” The story, based on their survey, touches on a topic I’ve brought up a few times, namely that what we say to ourselves about our bodies is pretty harsh. And so many of us do it! And what’s even scarier is that it starts young – even among 3-6 year olds!
But if we change our words, we can change our own self-image. Words are powerful, so let’s use them for good and we’ll actually feel more beautiful. (And be more fun to be around too!)
The article then went on to report something quite interesting: people “who were unsatisfied with their career or relationship tended to report more negative body thoughts than women who were content in those areas.” The article also links other sources of unhappiness with greater feelings of discontent with one’s body. The body becomes a focus of problems even though so many other problems deserve the attention, like one’s job or relationship. Our poor bodies are the targets of all bad feelings. How unfair!
Here are some tips from Glamour (with my edits and gratuitous tidbits) to psyche us out of these negative feelings and away from harsh words:
1. Let’s rewire our brains to think POSITIVE things about our bodies and jot them down. The act of writing helps engrave the attitudes in our heads.
2. Challenge ourselves as to whether the negative body thoughts are really connected to some other issues, and then focus on fixing those.
3. Exercise (no duh – those endorphins help a lot :)).
4. Say “stop” out loud whenever those mean thoughts enter our heads.
5. Stop obsessing about our bodies. Obsessing doesn’t help us look better; it just turns us into annoying creatures!
6. Appreciate our bodies for what they do, not just what they look like.
7. Play up our strengths and assets. We all have them, so show them off to the world!