Tips on Improving Body Confidence
Learn to feel better about yourself
Body confidence is something that can be difficult to achieve. No matter how fit or toned a woman might be, it's easy to feel that someone else at the gym looks better. Not to mention the media blitz of airbrushed supermodels that makes it even tougher to feel good about yourself. But no worries. Even if your thighs don't have the desirable "thigh gap" and your curvy booty isn't as toned as Kim Kardashian's, you can still feel good about yourself. It just takes practice and learning a new way of thinking.
Remember, no matter how much you'd like to be thinner or more toned, it's still possible to feel good about yourself and learn to love being in your own skin. Our experts share their tips on how to achieve this blissful state of self confidence.
Change your way of thinking
Confidence in general is more about how you think than how you look and that includes body confidence. A woman who may not have the "perfect" body image can be extremely confident about her body, while on the contrary a woman who is a size 4-6 can have extremely low confidence although she has the body that many women long for. Body confidence is about mindset, not body size, said Cheryl Holland, a lifestyle expert and author of Have Your Cake & Eat It Too! The Savvy and Sassy Guide to Get What You Want in Life & Business.
Holland shares her tips on how to improve your confidence overall, including body image:
Know what you bring to the table, besides a body: The focus on a woman's body image can be extreme nowadays. Instead, focus on what else makes you fabulous. What are your strengths? I suggest writing a list of your strengths and play those up every chance you get. After doing that, you'll feel fabulous all around and your body size now has a smaller role in your life.
Have mirror talk: A huge confidence booster is having what I call mirror talk. Look yourself in the mirror and force yourself to find those things that you do love about your face and your body. So what you're not a size 6. BUT, you have perky instead of sagging boobs! Do you know how many women wish their boobs were still perky? That's the kind of conversation you need to have with yourself. Finding those loves about your body will help you be able to say, hey, I'm not so bad after all.
Focus on health: Are you healthy? Your body size is more about health than looks. Have a physical and know your numbers - your blood pressure, cholesterol and other important numbers that are related to health risks. If those numbers are good, then you're good. If you have numbers that concern your doctor, then do what you need to do to improve those numbers. It's about your quality of life, not how you look.
Dress for your body type: Every trend is not a trend for you. Study what looks good on your body size and shape and stick with that. The wrong clothing can accentuate the very areas of your body that you're not pleased with. For instance, if you're top heavy and narrow on the bottom then stay away from leggings. You need a fuller pant or skirt to balance out the top half of your body.
If you want to feel better about your body, then stop comparing yourself to others, said Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Steps to Crush your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love.
"You may not be a size 2 like the models you are comparing yourself to. Your body is, however, able to move unlike someone with a spinal cord injury. Focus on gratitude for the wonders of your body," Lombardo said.
Exercise is also a way to improve your self confidence. "Research shows that moving your body releases certain biochemical that will help you feel more confidence, even before you get the physical benefits of weight loss or toning," she said.
"Ditch perfectionism. Drop the all-or-nothing, 'I don’t have a perfect body so it sucks' mentality. Focus on being better than perfect. What do you like about your body? And how would you like your body to look? Use that positive imagery to start makingpositive changes to create an every happier body than you have now," she said.
Ben Adams, Ph.D., psychologist and author of The Creative Diet, said he recommends sensorial people watching in order to boost confidence.
"This involves simply looking at people as they walk by and looking for what is beautiful about them. If we sat and watched members of any other species walking by, we wouldn't pick them apart in our minds and try to figure out who is better looking than whom. We would simply admire each living creature as a beautiful thing in and of itself. To be able to do this, we have to deliberately detach from our learned tendencies to judge bodies as beautiful versus ugly. We have to allow ourselves to go back to a more basic sensorial appreciation of a living being. When we allow ourselves to do this with others, it becomes easier for us to do this with ourselves," Adams said.