You are not alone in your desire to build a more positive body image. Adolescence is an especially tough time for body image. One important thing to remember is that other people, including boys, don’t judge you as strongly as you judge yourself. Also, people’s bodies change over time as they develop. Even though you have less control over how your body changes, you do have control over other aspects of your body image–like your personal style (for example, clothes, hairstyle, etc.)
Another important point to understand is that your body image is related to your thoughts and emotions. Sometimes specific events or situations can trigger beliefs we have about how our bodies should look. These beliefs then impact our emotions, causing us to feel upset and disappointed. The more aware you become of this cycle, the more likely you are to challnge it and break it! Here is an example of that cycle:
Here are a few tips for helping improve your body image:
- Keep a journal in which you keep track of your thoughts and emotions related to your body image. This can help with seeing patterns between how your thoughts affect your emotions.
- Try to notice the messages about body image that you see in social media, advertisements, or television that cause you to feel negatively about your body. Challenge these ideas! Why should you listen to anyone who says you have to be a certain size or look a certain way?
- When you look in the mirror, focus on your entire self and not only on parts of your body. Be kind to yourself and point out the positive aspects of your body.
- Practice mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing your attention and awareness to whatever is happening in the moment in a nonjudgmental way.