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Our Body Image Comes From How We Talk to Ourselves

Often, the voice in our head is the one that makes us feel the worst.  Both men and women can suffer from poor body image.  Extreme cases of this result in eating disorders, but even mild forms of this can lead to low self-confidence, low self-esteem, and a decrease in our vitality.    If you’re unsure about your own body image, massage is a great way to create awareness of what you actually look like.  It also naturally creates a more positive response to how you look.  Luckily, you can create awareness of what your brain is saying about your body and focus it on positive thoughts.   If you’d like to change your attitude about your body, try these tips:

  1. Understand that internal voices come from external forces like culture, religion, and family. Remind yourself that those thoughts were most likely put in your head from outside sources.
  2. List the negative (such as too much weight, not pretty enough, wrong body shape).  List them all.  Tell yourself that these are other people’s demands on your body, not your own.  You don’t have to look the way other people want you to.
  3. Find an exercise that you enjoy doing, rather than one that makes your body look the way you think it should.  You will exercise more if you enjoy it and do it for the sake of enjoyment rather than a goal. Try to be good to your body through moderate exercise and pampering.
  4. Don’t discuss dieting, weight- loss, or time logged at the gym.
  5. Think of yourself in a global context. It’s easier to become dissatisfied when focusing on American images of beauty.  Remember these images represent just a tiny fraction of the possibilities for beauty and success.
  6. Compliment yourself every time you criticize yourself.

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