Think of your body size like your shoe size
popcorner/ShutterstockYou don't spend hours in front of the mirror pining to be the "perfect" size 7 shoe, so why give that treatment to the rest of your body? You shouldn't, says Susan Albers, PSyD, a clinical psychiatrist at the Cleveland Clinic and author of six books on mindful eating. "It can be a big leap to go straight from 'I hate my body' to 'I love my body,' so I tell my clients to work on acceptance, first. We accept our foot size and don't try to change it, and we can do the same with our body," she says. Try these 22 powerful ways to remind yourself how worthy you truly are.
Have a love fest with your body
popcorner/ShutterstockJust like there are parts of your body that you may not love, there are also parts you probably do. If you struggle to find something positive to feel about yourself, Albers suggests remembering the compliments you've received from family, friends, or strangers. "Think about the positive feedback you've gotten, such as 'I love your hair,' or 'Your eyes are stunning,'" she says. Try these 10 easy ways to be nicer to yourself.
Embrace the notion that everyone is different
popcorner/ShutterstockInstead of comparing yourself to that "#fitmom" you follow on Instagram, switch your mindset and focus on how everyone is different and no person is better or worse than another. "Comparison is such a destructive bomb to self-esteem. Don't think, 'she's better,' 'she's skinnier,' or 'I'm fatter,'" says Albers. "Instead, focus your mind on how everyone is different and just because they may weigh less, it doesn't mean they're better than you."
Avoiding mirrors can be empowering
TaraPatta/Shutterstock"Removing additional mirrors can be helpful in shifting your focus from how you look to how you feel," says Albers. Check to be sure you're stain- and wrinkle-free, then step out of frame. Here are science-backed tricks to boost confidence.
Focusing on what makes you happy can actually make you happy
popcorner/ShutterstockIt can be hard to ignore your physical appearance—in fact, nearly 85 percent of women report opting out of social activities when they feel bad about how they look. But that's a big mistake. When you're feeling down about yourself, Albers suggests actively seeking out an activity that brings you joy. "When you're doing something you love, whether it's pottery or exercise or reading a good book, your focus on your appearance goes out the window, because you're so in the moment and focusing on other things," she says. Here's how to stop being so negative.
Go on a shopping spree and invest in three fabulous outfits
popcorner/ShutterstockWe all have those mornings when it seems like nothing in the closet fits right that day. Stave off a permanent bad mood by stacking your wardrobe with a few outfits you always feel good in and that are really comfy. "Wear those when you're having a day where you don't feel good in anything," says Albers.
Stop looking at clothing sizes because they don't matter
worker/ShutterstockWhether you're a size 2 or a size 12, constantly looking at clothing tag sizes can become a vicious cycle of self-hate—plus, each clothing brand fits differently, so one size won't always fit all. "I recommend taking three different sizes into the fitting room and not looking at the size when you try them on," says Albers. "Nobody sees the size, so focus on which pair of jeans you really feel comfortable in." The more comfortable you feel in an outfit, the more confidently you'll carry yourself and the better you'll feel.
Write yourself kind messages and leave them around
opicobello/Shutterstock"Put notes of positive inspiration around to remind yourself to focus on the big picture, instead of obsessing over the little imperfections," says Albers. Post sticky notes with positive affirmations like, "You look great today!" on the bathroom mirror, or pick up a tube of bright lipstick and scribble them right on the reflection. This is why you should start talking to yourself.
Striking a power pose can boost your confidence
popcorner/ShutterstockWhile recent research seems to debunk the notion that a power pose (making your body more physically expansive) can enhance your life and confidence, Albers still believes it's worth a shot—and it certainly won't harm anything. "Practice poses of confidence," she says. "People read a lot from your body posture." Try standing with your feet spread apart, back straight, chest out, and hands on your hips, before leaving the house.
It's OK to accept compliments, even if you don't believe they're true
popcorner/Shutterstock"When we don't feel good about ourselves, it's natural to excuse people's compliments or turn them down by talking negatively about ourselves in return," says Albers. "Instead, be open to them and practice saying, 'Thank you,' even if you don't believe them at that moment. The more you start taking compliments in instead of shutting them down, the better you'll feel in the long-run."