Body confidence can fluctuate depending on your mood, your friends and your surroundings. When you are happy and carefree with the people who love you, your body feels great but one bad day and suddenly those little imperfections are all you can see.
It’s no exaggeration to say that your body confidence can have a real effect on your wellbeing. If you want to hide away because you don’t like your body, you are quickly going to experience loneliness, making your confidence slump even further.
But before you get the blues, there are all sorts of things you can do to really take care of yourself and give your confidence a boost. It’s not all about losing a crazy amount of weight or running until you are ready to collapse. True body confidence is about making small changes to increase your self esteem and help you accept those things that you can’t reasonably do anything about.
When you love yourself enough to take care, your body confidence will bloom. And even better, other people will notice the change and find you more attractive for it! Look to your friends for support and to your family for the unconditional love we all need and give yourself the help you need with these simple ideas.
Healthy Eating is About Balance
When all the diet magazines and health suggestions are about cutting out foods you love, it is easy to think that you can’t be healthy and happy at the same time. Your relationship with food and your relationship with your body are interlinked. When you feel fat and grumpy, you will probably turn to fatty and sugary foods that exacerbate the problem. When you are feeling great, vegetables and fruits are more likely to be appealing but then you risk not eating enough calories making your mood slump once more.
The problems arise when you limit yourself and get into a boom and bust cycle. Rather than eating your troubles, try taking long relaxing baths or watching your favourite films. Conversely, don’t limit your diet or deny yourself the occasional treat. A healthy relationship with food means getting a nutritional balance from a wide variety of different foods, incorporating the foods you really love.
Take time to relax
Stress is becoming an increasing problem in modern life and while periods of stress will always come around, there are things you can do to help yourself back on the road to calm. Your body deals with stress in all sorts of ways and many of them may lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. If you find yourself eating more or getting less sleep while you are stressed, you should seriously consider looking at the underlying causes of your behaviour and sorting them out as a priority.
Mindfulness is a great way to get in touch with your subconscious and to understand what is troubling you. Take time to sit quietly in a comfortable place and gently clear your mind of all the thoughts whizzing about. Close your eyes. Focus on slowing your breathing and clenching and then relaxing your muscle groups until you are entirely relaxed. As you come round again and open your eyes, think about what has been making you stressed and how you are going to deal with those problems. Making a list of problems and solutions is an excellent way of putting anxieties into perspective too.
Take Control of Your Body
We all have bits of ourselves that we don’t like and coming to terms with that is difficult. Your body is going to be yours for life so you need to take control of it and really make the most of what you have. Try facing yourself in a full length mirror and really look at your body. If your body confidence is really low, try looking at smaller areas one at a time rather than overwhelming yourself with the whole picture at once! Instead of automatically critiquing what you see, tell yourself which bits you like the most and focus on that. For example, rather than concentrating on your acne, compliment your eyes and beautiful smile.
Coming to terms with your body and accepting it for the way it is can only take you so far. To really improve your confidence you need to take care of it too. Make sure that you wash and exfoliate your skin, look after your hair and exercise to keep your muscles supple. You may also wish to have some imperfections like acne or a tattoo you regret vanished. Dore Aesthetics is a great place to start as they offer low risk, speedy treatments to make you look and feel your best.
Exercise Your Body and Mind
Exercise won’t just keep you toned, it will also help you to achieve your ideal body. While your frame is basically going to stay the same, toning and losing that bit of extra fat that’s been getting you down will really help you to feel more confident. Part of this is about building your strength and increasing your fitness but there is some good evidence that suggests that regular exercise can improve your IQ too!
Training your body and pushing yourself to gradually get fitter is also great for your mood. At the end of your workout, your body will release endorphins that make you feel good and glow with success. If you are stressed or anxious, just half an hour raising your heart rate will help you to clear your mind and put you at ease. Not only will you feel better, you will look better too!
Wear What Feels Good
If you have low body confidence then don’t be fooled into wearing baggy clothes or old things again and again. Hiding your body like this doesn’t really work because it makes your lack of confidence more noticeable and won’t make you feel any better anyway. We all have days where we don’t want to get dressed but if you put in a little bit more effort, you will get much more out of your wardrobe.
Dressing for your body shape is a good place to start. Some cuts look much better on some body shapes than they do on others so try different styles of clothes to find out which suits you best. If you find a particular style just looks hideous on you, don’t keep trying it and feeling worse just accept that round neck tops aren’t for you and focus on finding v-necks or scoops. This way when you get to the changing rooms you will have a good chance of finding something that makes you look great and feel great too.
Fabrics are another thing to consider when you’re shopping. Too thick and you will feel sweaty and uncomfortable, too thin and you will feel exposed. Feel the clothes you like before you try them on to see whether the fabric will be comfortable or not. Despite what fashion tells us, sometimes a fabric might look good, but if you don’t feel comfortable there’s no point in wearing it. Having said all that, fashion is what makes clothes fun so try things on that are a bit out of your usual comfort zone and mix things up.
Remember, if something looks terrible in the changing room, laugh it off and try something else. It’s not you, it’s the clothes!
Love Yourself, Love Your Body
If you have spent years hating how you look and lacking in body confidence, loving yourself and your body might be quite an ask. Try taking things one step at a time and gradually improving your relationship with yourself. Compliment yourself when you look in the mirror, make an effort to eat well and exercise and take the time to listen to how you are feeling and be honest with yourself about your emotions and thoughts.
There are few things that we can’t control but loving your body is not one of them. You and your body are going to spend your whole lives together, so the sooner you accept each other, the better. If you are truly not getting anywhere, talk to your friends and family about how you feel. Most of them will probably tell you that you are being silly because look how beautiful you are! But they will also help you to organise your thoughts and start making the positive changes that will boost your confidence.
Try going to the gym with a friend to encourage you to push yourself that little bit further. You could also go shopping together and only pick up things for each other. This is a great way to bond as well as understand how clothes fit different bodies. What looks fabulous on you might look dreadful on her just as it might end up the other way around. Laugh it off together and have fun complimenting each other on what looks beautiful too.
Loving your body will always require a little bit of effort, even when you are on top of your game, don’t forget to work at this beautiful relationship and enjoy being you.