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Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and criticize your appearance? If yes, you need to stop doing that right now! 

We all occasionally feel unhappy about our looks, whether we’re having a bad hair day or feel worried about whether or not we are wearing the right outfit for a particular event. Yet, when you constantly feel unsatisfied with the way you look, you’re most likely plagued by body image issues.  

Now, most people think of body image in strong connection with aspects of physical appearance, such as attractiveness and beauty. However, body image is much more than just our looks. It is our mental representation of ourselves. That’s why a poor body image affects your mental health in several ways, from making your self-esteem take a major hit to affecting your relationships with your peers. 

We all tend to be our harshest critics and be much harder on ourselves than we are on our peers. Yet, self-criticism can be a healthy habit as it keeps us away from procrastinating and being too self-indulgent. But, when you become overly critical, especially about your body image, that’s when you start to perceive yourself as less than you really are. Here’s how to change that: 

Boost your self-esteem

Body image and self-esteem go hand in hand. The more satisfied you are about your look, the more confident you are as a person. Now, self-esteem is a very complex feeling that can play a significant role in your professional and personal success. 

But how do you boost your self-esteem despite your poor image about your appearance? You need to remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin-deep, meaning that you must be aware of and accept both your positive and negative attributes, including physical and personality characteristics. 

In today’s modern world, you may feel tempted to value your self-worth in how big your bank account is, how many social media friends you have, or your job title. However, you must take a step back and think about what really makes a person you admire. Is it how big their bank account is, how they look, or how kind and loving they are with their peers? What truly determines someone’s worth are their strengths, such as compassion, empathy, and kindness. 

So, start by making a list with all the good things you can find in you and realize that all those are your strengths that you should be proud of. 

Practice self-care 

Practicing self-care can be a very useful coping mechanism with low self-esteem and a poor body image.  It all comes to investing in yourself more than you use to do right now. From making healthier lifestyle choices to taking better care of your appearance and practicing mindfulness, all these self-care habits can help you improve your self-worth. 

According to 2015 data from the Research Gate, people who are more mindful tend to experience higher levels of self-worth and self-esteem. The reason behind this is the fact that focusing on the present moment allows you to get a better understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, instead of focusing on your past mistakes, failures, or negative experiences.   

Also, body image satisfaction is a major factor in self-esteem because when you look good, you feel good. So, make time to invest in your appearance by exercising and having a healthy diet. 

However, having a healthy diet and exercising should be more about how these habits make your brain and body happy. Instead of focusing on shaping your body based on today’s beauty standards, you should think of having proper nutrition, being physically active and using weight-loss support supplements such as leptitox, as a way of maintaining the ideal and healthy body weight. 

Stop comparing yourself with others 

It’s no surprise that people these days struggle with poor body images when the media keeps on showing us very strict beauty standards. From models to celebrities, these are the examples that social media, TV shows, and magazines promote. Now, having these examples in mind, we all tend to compare ourselves with these beauty standards.

However, comparison can play a significant role in making you have a poor self-image, especially when it comes to your appearance. While nurturing it as a healthy habit, it can lead to improvement, regularly comparing yourself with others isn’t going to help you at all. 

When you overly compare yourself with your peers for what seems to be their “perfect” life, body, hair, or facial features, on social media, that’s when you make comparison a destructive habit for your self-esteem

It is essential to realize that you need no validation from the others, so there is no point in comparing yourself with your peers. Shift your focus from worrying about what others are doing, or how they look like, on what you can do to become the best version of yourself. 

Surround yourself with positive people 

It’s no brainer that we shouldn’t let “toxic” people in our lives for too long. Yet, sometimes it may be challenging to let these people go, or even difficult to recognize to yourself that they are hurting you. 

Yet, these toxic people may be contributing to your low self-esteem and poor body image. For example, if any of your peers criticize your appearance based on your body’s shape and size, you need to let that someone go.  When it comes to your self-worth, the only opinion that truly matters is your own and those of people that give you advice that can help you grow. So, surround yourself with people that are supportive and encourage you to like yourself just as you are naturally. 

Boosting your self-esteem and improving your body image is in your own hands. And, it all comes down to becoming more aware of your strengths, investing time in your self-improvement, and having realistic expectations about yourself. 

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