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Finding a Solution to Negative Body Image

Body image can be a sensitive subject for many—men and women included. I believe there’s an imbalance when we begin to outweigh how others perceive us over how we perceive ourselves. So how do you handle challenges with body image? We all struggle with it from time to time, but finding a healthy plan of action is key to overcoming moments of vulnerability.

Kjerstin Gruys, a 29-year-old PhD student in sociology, is tackling her longtime struggle with body image by avoiding mirrors for an entire year. For her, avoiding mirrors is allowing her to focus on the way she feels on the inside instead of how she looks on the outside. (Read Gruys full story here.)

I’m not suggesting you remove every mirror in your house, but what I am proposing is you find an exercise that works for you. In a recent empowerment mini-workshop held here at H3, participants threw out negative words that have been said to them in the past and wrote positive messages across a mirror. Here are a few other simple exercises you may find useful:

  • Write down at least one positive thing about yourself each day—keep adding to the list so on days when you’re not feeling very confident you will have a slew of positive characteristics to turn to. After reading your list, free your mind of negative thoughts and focus on the truth in all the positives on your list.
  • Don’t be afraid of a little arrogance. Sometimes it’s necessary to brag on yourself! If you’re proud of an accomplishment, no matter how big or small, don’t be ashamed to literally give yourself a high-five or pat on the back. It may sound silly and you may look silly doing it, but hopefully it will bring a smile to your face.
  • Going along with the second point, remember to give yourself compliments. If you like the healthy dish you made for dinner, share the recipe with friends or post the picture for others to see. If you like an outfit you put together, look in the mirror and tell yourself, “man, I look good!” Don’t get hung up on the things you can’t change but be proud of who you are and your journey to that momen.

    H3 Empowerment Workshop





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