last week, i got a DM on instagram about how to deal with body dysmorphia. i responded on my instagram story in a video format highlighting four tips i personally have found to be helpful for myself and for other people. i had multiple people email me and ask to put it in a blog post as well, so this is just a nice little recap of the instagram live that won't disappear after 24 hours!
***just like in my story, i want to give a 'lil disclaimer: i am not a registered psychiatrist or psychologist. my advice is only my own opinion and not meant to be taken as a substitute for medical advice or prescription.
tip #1: remember that negative thoughts you have about your body is socially constructed. the ONLY REASON you think that there is something wrong with your body (i.e: you're not curvy enough, your boobs are too small, your thighs are bigger than they should be, your waist is too big), is because society is constantly telling you that there is. your boobs are too small for WHAT? your thighs are "bigger than they should be"? what size should they be? what does that even mean? nothing is wrong with your body. you see literally thousands of photos, videos, and advertisements that show like three different body types. they're usually white, but tan, slender, but muscular. a lot of bodies DON'T fit into that mold, and as a result, a LOT of bodies feel "wrong" because the only bodies they ever see are the ones that society wants them to see.
tip #2: get rid of your triggers. i chatted about this in my IG live, but one of my personal triggers are before and after pictures. when i see them, i immediately compare my body to both photos shown. does my body look more like the before or the after picture? do i need to change anything about my body? this photo states that this transformation only took six weeks, so why hasn't my body changed in the way i want it to in six weeks? ....and so on and so forth. they weren't bringing happiness to my day, they weren't making me a better person; they were making me sad. i edited my filters on pinterest to not show any "fitspo" posts, and i immediately noticed a huge difference! i didn't feel sad and i didn't feel guilty for being in my body.
tip #3: literally name your negative voice and tell it to shut up. this tip sounds a little bit freaky, but hear me out!! i think it's so important to know that negative thoughts that you have about yourself do NOT come from you. they do not come from a good place. there's great power in being able to separate the nasty voice from your wonderful self. give it a name so you can explicitly call it out when you catch yourself having negative thoughts about yourself, and tell it to shut up. mine is named mrs. trunchbull. it's fiiiiiiiiine.
tip #4: positive affirmations. right after you tell your nasty voice to shut up, immediately replace that with saying (out loud!) something kind about yourself. i think that the power of the mind is an amazing thing and we can truly change our mindset with practice and with patience. i know one mom that has her young children repeat a mantra ("i am smart, i am brave, i am kind, i am a rockstar") every day. repeating this phrase day after day, year after year, will truly leave an impression on her kids! you can also write a list of things you love about yourself and leave it on a sticky note on your mirror. you can hug yourself and say "i love you" every day before you get out of bed. the possibilities are endless!
i hope these tips are helpful for you guys. this is something i feel SO passionately about and i sincerely hope that you (yes, YOU!) can feel more love for yourself. you deserve it! xo