How often have you looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “I need to change this” “I don’t like this” or “Why can’t I look like this instead?” Trust me – you are not alone!
Especially during my middle school and high school years, I was completely obsessed with how I looked and wished I could change certain things about myself. It got to the point that I was so critical of myself, I couldn’t stand to look at myself and lost all sense of what I truly looked like. My therapist diagnosed me with body dysmorphia and gave me some tips to love myself – “flaws” and all! Here are just some of the helpful tips she has had me working on over the past few years.
- Avoid constantly weighing yourself – weight fluctuates so much throughout the day and chances are if you don’t step on the scale, you would not “see” the weight fluctuations when looking at yourself
- Pick out pieces of yourself that you truly love – even focusing on seemingly simple things like eye color, smile, and dimples can boost self-confidence and image.
- Imagine when you’re looking at yourself that you are seeing a stranger – oftentimes the things that we criticize about ourselves we wouldn’t criticize if a stranger had them, in fact, we may find the same features flattering on a stranger.
- Be kind to yourself! Self-love takes WORK, but it is so worth it. Everyone has days that they feel down, but remember one bad day does not define who you are as a person. A positive attitude can go a very long way.
*This advice is solely meant as helpful tips and does not replace seeking a health care professional. Please, see a mental health professional if you are experiencing similar issues.*
Although I still struggle with body image and body dysmorphia, pairing these tips with consistent therapy has worked wonders in my life. Now, I am able to recognize that even if I have bad days there is no reason tomorrow can’t be a better day. No one is perfect, but find comfort in being perfectly imperfect.
Have you experienced distortions of how you look? Do you have any tips to enable self-love in this regard? Why do you think body dysmorphia is a common experience?