Love The Skin You’re In

February 24, 2016

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Love The Skin You’re In

How to Boost Your Body Image

Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror, or when you picture yourself in your mind. As college students, we are surrounded by other young men and women, which can make us obsess over our own body image. We are constantly being exposed to media that revolves around body image. Every celebrity on a magazine cover is photo shopped to perfection, which causes us to think that is what everyone should look like. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook allow us to follow the lives of celebrities and models. As I watch fellow students scroll through Instagram I often hear things like, “I wish I had her abs”, or “her hair is perfect”. It is not just women who have these thoughts it is common for men to have thoughts of wanting to gain more weight, or bulk up. With all of the social media that surrounds us it is sometimes difficult to avoid all of these negative thoughts.

Brown University Health Education reported a study performed on college students. About 74.4% of female college students stated that they thought about their weight or appearance “all the time” or “frequently”. This study also found that 46% of the normal-weight men surveyed responded the same way.

Having reoccurring thoughts about your body image can sometimes get in the way of living a happy and healthy life. Here are a few tips on how to boost your body image:

  1. Understand that you cannot change your body type. No matter what shape or size you are, you must realize you are beautiful and appreciate your body.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to those around you. You are unique; do not let others get in the way of who you are.
  3. Realize that the media is not real. Every magazine cover you see is photo shopped, which is not a realistic way to live.
  4. Stay off the scale. A number should not reflect how you feel about yourself.
  5. Spend time with people who have a healthy body image and refrain from “fat talk” when around friends and family.
  6. Stay active by doing activities you enjoy! Keeping yourself moving will make you feel strong, energized and peaceful! It will also keep you from having negative thoughts.
  7. Replace a negative thought with a happy thought. As soon as you start saying things to yourself such as, “I wish I had thinner thighs” think about something fun you did that past weekend.

It is important that we all learn to love the skin we are in and cherish the body that we were born with. Being healthy does not just mean eating right and working out, it also means having a positive body image and being happy with the person you are, and all the good things you have to offer the world!

If you feel like you have a negative body image visit Eating Concerns Mentor on campus at UNH, or make an appointment with the UNH Counseling Center.

And… always remember to love your body the way it is!

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