Sure, you might like your eyebrows, for example, or your long legs, but also try to think of qualities that aren’t so related to what’s on the outside (because even fixating on your physical features favorites is just another way to attach your value to your appearance). Instead, you could doodle something like, « I don’t look the same as I used to, but I have good friends and a fantastic new job that I’m proud of. » Or, « I may not have a six-pack anymore, but I’m in a healthy romantic relationship with a partner who loves me for me. » By writing down (and revisiting) these affirmations, you arm yourself with a new secret weapon to combat intrusive negative body thoughts: a healthier, more optimistic outlook and a boost of confidence, says Dr. Daniels.
Think about your inner child or future older self.
Remember when we asked you if you would be so hard on your loved ones? Rollin says it can be an effective exercise in self-benefit to also consider your inner child, or even your older self (i.e. you as a cute-as-hell older person in your 30s, 40s, 50 years).
You can hang a favorite photo of your adorable seven year old by your bathroom mirror or maybe set it as your phone background – a reminder that this sweet, innocent child doesn’t deserve mean words. on his thighs, let’s say, or their under-eyes – and neither does your adult self.
If you’re not a big fan of the idea of »healing your inner child », that’s fine. Instead, Rollin suggests imagining when you’re 80 or 90 after living a long and full life and asking, « What will mean most to me in my final days? » Will it be the wrinkles and fat on your body – or lack thereof during your younger years – or the friendships you made, the goals you accomplished, and the memories you cherished? (Hint: it’s probably the last one.)
Resist the temptation to constantly scroll through your camera roll.
Browsing through old Instagram posts or camera photos can sometimes be comforting, but this habit can become self-defeating if you’re obsessed with evidence of your old body.
« Many of us are guilty of zooming in on our stomachs, faces, legs, or arms and then criticizing them, » Rollin says. If you’re regularly tempted to look for proof that your body was definitely « better » back then, there are ways to deal with these harmful behaviors. An example is to zoom out and look at the full picture (including sky and landscape, for example) so that you can see yourself the way others see you: as a whole person, and not only isolated and magnified body parts.
If the urges to separate your photos or create your past and present selves side by side are just too strong, you can also directly eliminate your ability to act on it. Dr. Kwan recommends transferring all trigger images to a hard drive, for example, or adding them to a Google Drive folder. We know you probably won’t want to permanently delete these memories, but putting them away can ensure that you’ll always have access to them, just not at your fingertips, 24/7.
Reevaluate who you follow on social media and who you surround yourself with IRL.
Even if you compare yourself to yourself, the expectation that you should look the same as you did in, say, 2013 probably stems at least in part from external factors, like negative comments about a being’s body. dear that resonate in your mind or are ubiquitous. the cultural pressure to “slim down” that we keep mentioning.