Relaxation and meditation are the new tools to feel better about yourself. A study by the University of Texas found women who took part in 20 minutes of guided self-compassion meditation reported a more positive body image after three weeks. Meditation demands that you are mindful in the moment, it allows the mind to be refreshed, particularly our subconscious which can hold on to feelings of body dissatisfaction. We are our own worst critics, but we can also be the best with a bit of support and direction. The first steps on the path to self-improvement are to start feeling good and mindfulness may be just the ticket.
Implications Of A Positive Body Image
The practice of using meditation as a self awareness tool has in more recent years been termed mindfulness. Generally it is accepted that there are three components that make up a positive body image. These include self-esteem, a positive attitude (whereby we accept our strengths and our weaknesses) and emotional stability. Mindfulness is achieving an awareness of our thoughts in the very present moment, by paying attention to your thoughts and feelings at the time and seeing things clearly. The ability to do that can allow us to positively change the way we see things and our lives and consequently aid our mental health.
Boosting Self Esteem
However, accepting your body and embracing all its imperfections is not always achievable. A study in Europe recently found that cosmetic surgery boosted self-esteem post surgery. Their enhancement had left them feeling healthier, less anxious and happier. Simply changing a small part of your body can make a great difference to your overall acceptance and allow you to enjoy a more positive quality of life.
A Social Media Storm
A practice review of mindfulness studies highlighted the relationship between mindfulness and depression was significantly mediated by decreased rumination, that continued mulling over of an idea or thought that leaves you in a rut. With the rise in social media with constant images of perceived body perfection uploaded day in day out, it is easy to compare and contrast with your own, effectively producing the perfect storm for promoting negative self talk. Ensure you critically view social media so that you expose yourself to more realistic images as this can aid with accepting your true beauty rather than having a warped sense of it.
Self Perception Perfection
Mindfulness is about being in the right frame of mind to be able to pragmatically question negative self talk, being able to recognize it and then work out if one is caught up in thoughts that are not helpful. You may not feel like it some days, but shouting about the things you do find good about yourself can help, embrace positive affirmations daily. Focusing on your skills and talents and what you can do will boost your self-esteem. Above all, remember our physical image can never depict our character or values as a person. We are unique, by appreciating and looking after what we have, we can enjoy, accept and celebrate ourselves and others.