Helping teens develop a healthy body image
Date: Sunday, June 13, 2010 @ 16:04:26 LKT
Topic: Life Style

Most people have negative body image, and don’t know how to make the mental and emotional changes that will improve how they look at themselves. The key is to understand that it isn’t physical appearance that causes poor body image, but how one thinks about their physical appearance.

Developing healthy habits

Eat and exercise for health, rather than losing weight. The focus should be on doing what’s best for the body, which includes moderate exercise and eating a balanced, healthy diet. Excessive exercise, extreme diets, and other means to lose weight may help to drop a few pounds, but may be unhealthy in the long run.

Those who really need to lose weight should do it in a slow, sensible, and healthy way.

Focus less on how the body looks and more on what the body can do. Get physical: take a dance class, go horseback riding, learn karate. The benefits? Both having fun and staying in shape. Along the same lines; don’t avoid participating in physical activities due to embarrassment about body shape or size.

Create realistic fitness goals that have rewards built into them. Don’t try to accomplish too much too soon. The best fitness and weight loss plans call for gradual change while new habits and skills are learned. Monitor progress, and celebrate when small goals are achieved.

Focusing on the positive

Instead of looking in the mirror and searching for flaws, find something to appreciate. With every peek into the mirror, compliment one appearance-related characteristic. It may take some getting used to, but eventually it will become a habit, and may even help to replace any negative thoughts about those body parts that may not be favourites.

Show the love!

Pampering the body in relaxing, healthy ways is a great reward for improved body. Consider a bubble bath, a massage, or something else that the body enjoys. Enjoy how good it feels, how much it relaxes, and how well-deserved it is.

Changing negative thoughts

Negative self-talk is damaging to self-esteem and teen body image. Pay close attention to these thoughts, which often go unnoticed. When a negative thought about the body presents itself, purposefully change that thought to a more realistic, hopeful, or goal-oriented thought. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones will eventually become second nature.

Stay away from the fashion magazines. Realize that only a small percentage of women look like the models and actresses in magazines. This is not a representative sample of what normal women and girls look like. Being exposed to these unrealistic images over and over is likely to reverse some of the progress made in improving body image.

Teen body image can be improved by focusing on health rather than appearance, and focusing on positive qualities instead of negative ones. Learning to love the body can take time and practice, but it’s well worth it.

Courtesy: SundayObserver

This article comes from Tops Sri Lanka -

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