Body confidence tips: 5 tools for positive body image, according to a psychologist

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Magazines, social media, films and television are filled with beautiful people, but they’re normally thin and flawless. Whether that’s down to genetic ‘luck’, filters or surgery, it’s hard not to compare yourself and doubt your own beauty. If you’re struggling to feel positive about your figure, don’t stress! Express.co.uk chatted to Eating Disorder Psychologist, Dr Rachel Evans to find out how to achieve positive body image and confidence.

5 tools for positive body image

A recent report by the Women and Equalities Committee found that 61 percent of adults and 66 percent of children feel negative or very negative about their body most of the time.

More than half of the respondents reported that lockdown had made them feel worse about their bodies.

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Diet culture and advertisements for weight-loss organisations, gym closures, lack of representation of diverse bodies, and less support for mental health conditions were suspected factors contributing to body image issues.

You can’t change the way the world is set up with a snap of your fingers, but there are things you can do to make sure you feel as confident as possible about yourself.

Here are 5 tips for body positivity, thanks to chartered psychologist Dr Rachel Evans

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READ MORE-  Body confidence tips: 5 tips for self-confidence in dating

Manage your triggers

Managing your triggers is the first step to body neutrality or feeling ‘okay’ towards your body before you can start to like it.

Dr Evans said: “Identifying what causes you to have low body confidence and to feel bad about your body means you can change your environment or behaviour to remove the triggers.

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“For example, unfollow that social media account that makes you feel rubbish about your body or donate clothes that are too small to the charity shop.

“The other option is to change your thoughts surrounding the trigger so that it no longer triggers you!”

Perspective shift

Changing your perspective from what your body looks like to what it does for you and how it functions can help you love yourself a little more.

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Dr Evans explained: “Research suggests that this allows you to gain a more balanced perspective.

“We often take the functioning of our body for granted when there are so many things that our body allows us to accomplish every day.

“It can be helpful to focus on how your body has got you through the pandemic and been supporting you every day; from waking up to operating a TV remote and all the hundreds of processes that happen for you to eat and digest food.

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“If you’re feeling self-conscious about your body or negative towards it at a specific time, for example, the first time you go to the park wearing shorts, you might like to think about how your body is supporting you, for example, perhaps your legs allow you to walk and run, your skin allows you to feel the warm sun, your smile tells others that you’re having fun.”

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Connect with your body

Start living IN your body rather than viewing it as an object or something to be controlled!

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Dr Evans said: “Why not try the latest trend of wild swimming to really feel into your body?

“Activities such as yoga, guided body-scan meditations, breathwork and having a massage provide a space for you to explore living in your body more.

“You might also like to use your body to express yourself physically through dancing, singing or playing an instrument.

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“Start with something small for even 10 minutes per day until you get more comfortable connecting with your body.”

Recognise unhelpful thoughts

Have you ever looked at someone you thought was incredibly attractive and felt like you pale in comparison?

That’s called ‘beauty and the beast” thinking, according to Dr Evans.

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She explained “Your mind is playing a trick on you when you think you’re ugly because someone else is attractive.

“You need to remember that like all the different kinds of flowers in a bouquet are beautiful in their own way, you and whomever you are comparing yourself to both have unique attributes and are both wonderful.”

Start ‘tapping’

Seven out of 10 adults in the Women and Equality Committee survey into body image reported that they felt anxious and shameful about their appearance.

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Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping or psychological acupressure, helps to reduce anxiety by changing the body’s energy through tapping on certain energy meridian points while thinking about the thoughts, feelings and behaviour to be changed.

Still no clue what this is? Dr Rachel Evans shows you how to do EFT to make peace with your body in this YouTube video.

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