Quick—Name three things you would like to change about your appearance. Was that easy for you? Sadly, many people find it easier to name things they don’t like rather than things they like about themselves. The way we feel about ourselves can have a huge impact on our success, relationships, happiness, and quality of life. In today’s society, it’s easy to get caught up in appearance.
How to change your negative thinking:
- Surround yourself with positive people. Do you and your friends sit around and talk about how “fat” you are, and how “gross” you look? This kind of negative talk increases body dissatisfaction and is harmful to self esteem! It may feel like bonding, but you and your friends are actually bringing each other down.
- Keep a list of 5-10 things you like about yourself that aren’t related to appearance. Read your list often, and add to it every chance you get. Write down your accomplishments, dreams, values, etc. Reread the list whenever you notice that you’re becoming too focused on your body.
- Be critical of TV and magazine advertisements. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Argue against these messages aloud or in your head. Talk to friends and family about these messages.
- Lend a hand! Instead of spending your energy and time worrying about your appearance, calories or weight, do something to help others. Volunteering and reaching out to others can often help people feel better, and can make a positive difference to those that you help.
- Consider counseling. Sometimes people need extra help to overcome insecurities, lack of confidence, or low self esteem. Commit to working toward a better, happier life now, rather than waiting for things to get worse.