Between social media and magazine ads, it isn’t always easy to look at your body in a positive light. The good news is when you are feeling down about your appearance, you don’t need to wait months to start feeling good about yourself again: You can actually change your mindset right now.
Whether it’s through what you’re wearing, how you’re fueling yourself, or simply how you’re talking to your body, here are 30 quick fixes that will help you feel better about what you have. And for more ways to boost your self confidence, know the 15 Daily Habits That Are Killing Your Confidence.
Flavor your water.
When you drink enough fluids during the day, your outlook on everything is better—body image, included. Amp up your water intake with sweet fruit like raspberries, oranges, strawberries, lemon, or whatever else will make you want to keep gulping. Staying hydrated keeps your mood lifted, energy levels up, and helps get rid of bloat to make you feel great about yourself, inside and out. And for more ways to optimize your nutrient intake, start eating more of the 50 Foods That Will Make You Look Younger.
Go on a quick run.
Don’t worry—you don’t need to run a marathon. Simply putting on your sneakers and going outside for a run, even if that’s just 10 to 15 minutes, will boost your endorphins and leave you feeling great about yourself. As tempting as it is to stay inside on the couch watching TV, the quick burst of exercise will instantly make you feel like a better version of yourself, says a study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. And if you’re having difficulty getting off the couch, learn the 11 Ways Smart People Motivate Themselves to Go to the Gym.
Ditch your scale.
You can feel great about yourself before stepping on it, then after seeing the number that pops up, your body image can instantly shift for absolutely no reason. When it comes down to it, numbers are just numbers and you don’t need them to track your progress. Instead, go off of how much your workouts are improving, how strong you feel, and all those muscles starting to make an appearance. And for more ways to shed some pounds, check out the 20 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight.
Yep, even if it’s just for you. When you take the time to pick out lingerie you feel sexy in, that confidence will make you glow. Plus, unlike buying cheap bras and underwear that are almost always unflattering, invest in quality items that fit your body perfectly so you’ll feel like your best self the instant you put them on. For ideas on what garments to pick up, try out any of the 11 Lingerie Sets You’ll Both Love.
Wear sleek, dark colors.
Wearing colors might give you a mood boost, but nothing will make you feel better about your body than sleek, dark clothing. Because darker tones have a slimming effect, you’ll immediately look at yourself differently after putting on a sharp black suit or form-fitting dress.
You would think getting naked might make you feel worse about your body, but it’s quite the opposite. Getting intimate with someone you care about can actually make you feel great—and not just because of the endorphins. Allowing yourself to let loose and feel a sense of freedom in the bedroom away from all your worries and insecurities is a truly powerful thing and will put a strut in your step for the rest of the day. And for more confidence boosters, here are the 70 Genius Tricks to Boost Your Confidence!
When you’re feeling down, complimenting yourself isn’t exactly easy: It’s hard to see through the things you don’t like to focus on the things you do. But take a step back and really think about what you love about yourself, bringing those qualities to the forefront. We should talk to ourselves like we’d talk to a friend, and there’s no way you’d be bashing on your bestie.
Turn down the lights.
There’s nothing worse than looking at your body in bright, artificial lighting. That can make even the most confident person feel crappy about themselves. Instead, ditch the harsh stuff—particularly those overhead lights!—and opt for lamps to not only help you unwind and destress but also see yourself in a different light. Literally.
Be grateful for what you have.
It’s easy to focus on the negatives about yourself. The crazy thing, though, is people forget just how incredible the human body is in the first place. You’re a living, breathing being with a strong body that’s gotten you through a lot over the years. Instead of hating on yourself, remember that this is the body that’s going to carry you for the rest of your life. Treat it with respect and appreciate everything it’s done for you. And for more small ways to live a healthier life, Here’s Why You Should Sleep with Your Feet Outside the Covers.
Grab a banana.
Bananas are jam-packed with potassium and that’s good news for your body. When you’re feeling heavy and bloated, you’re going to look at yourself in a more negative light. But thanks to the tummy-flattening mineral, you’ll immediately start feeling lighter and better about yourself, you’ll immediately start feeling lighter and better about yourself due to its ability to prevent water retention in your body, says Time.
Make a commitment.
Making a commitment to yourself won’t immediately change how your body looks, but it will change how you feel. When you’re eating crappy food and avoiding workouts, your self-esteem can plummet—but making a commitment, whether that’s going to the gym five days a week or saying goodbye to sugar, will instantly add some positivity into your life, getting you excited about the changes that are coming your way.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
This one is hard, but it’s a must—otherwise you’ll never feel good about yourself. The second you stop critiquing yourself based on another person, you’ll open the door to self-love. Comparing is never going to get your anywhere: There’s always going to be someone who has something you want. To be happy and feel confident, you have to look within yourself and appreciate what you have instead of constantly putting yourself down. And for more inspiration, know that This Woman’s Joke About Getting Older Will Make Your Day.
Make a list—and check it twice.
Feeling down about your body can make it difficult to point out the things you really do love about yourself and that’s why a list comes in handy. Once you start jotting down qualities you wouldn’t give up for anything, you’ll be surprised at how quickly that page fills up. After you have it finished, pin it up somewhere and look at it regularly. Bonus: Making a to-do list before bed is a genius productivity habit that will help you sleep better.
Get a good tailor.
A clothing item that makes you feel crappy can instantly become something that makes you feel more confident than ever with the help of a good tailor. Stop wearing ill-fitted clothing and take your favorite pieces to someone who can adjust them to perfectly fit and accentuate your body. The instant you get dressed and look in the mirror it will be impossible not to feel confident.
Fix your posture.
You won’t believe how much posture affects how you look at and feel about your body until you actually fix it. Instead of slumping over, focus on standing and sitting up straight. You’ll instantly look taller and more toned and your mood will get an automatic boost in the process.
Get some self-tanner.
There’s something about a healthy glow that makes everything better. Having tanned skin is the easiest way to smooth out your body and accentuate your muscles and shape. But, don’t do it the old-fashioned way: Avoid tanning in the sun or in a bed at all costs and instead invest in a quality self-tanning lotion, like one from St. Tropez or Bondi Sands.
Eat nourishing foods.
When you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap. Eating healthy, nourishing foods, on the other hand, will make you feel like a totally new person—even on the first day you switch your diet. Aim to eat plenty of plants and hearty protein sources like tofu and tempeh to keep your body happy, energized, and looking incredible.
Now, let’s be honest. Wearing heels every day just isn’t going to happen—your feet would probably be mad at you for life. But when you want to feel better about yourself instantly, they’re a quick option that immediately make you look leaner and more toned. (Even if they’re not the most comfortable shoes in your closet.) And for more smart ways to find balance, here are 5 Genius Ways to Feel More Satisfied with Your Life.
Just like the scale, sizes are just another number that can instantly make you feel down. If you no longer fit into a size you used to—even if you feel great in your own skin!—it can take a hit to your self-confidence. That’s why you should go off of how you feel in your clothes rather than what the number on them is. In fact, cut those tags off—you don’t need them anyway.
Go for a walk.
Sitting around too much can make you feel lousy and that’s why it’s so important to move throughout the day to stay positive and keep your mood boosted, says a 2016 study published in the journal Emotion. Commit to taking a few walks—one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one at night—to keep your energy levels and self-esteem up. When your body is moving and feeling good, you’ll feel better about your body.
Jot down your strengths.
Instead of simply going through the things you like about your appearance, go a step deeper than that and appreciate your body for its strengths and what it can do. Jot down what makes you proud to have the body you do. Maybe you just achieved 10 push-ups, or maybe you never need help opening jars. Whatever it is, it’s something to feel good about. (Especially the jar thing, because that can be hard.)
Eat an avocado.
When your body is glowing from the inside out, how can you not love it? Thanks to all the antioxidants in avocados, they’ll keep your skin looking softer and more vibrant than ever, says a 2013 study published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Plus, they’re really good. Whip up some guac to eat with carrots and celery or use some slices to top your salad.
Stop scrolling through Instagram.
Scrolling through Instagram is a fun way to pass the time. The only problem? If you’re constantly looking at pictures of other people and their progress, it’s almost impossible to feel good about yourself. Limit your time online and focus on what’s important in real life.
Change the way you look at your flaws.
Retraining your brain to look at your flaws isn’t always easy, but once you get there, it will change your life. Instead of seeing different parts of your body as negatives, change your mindset to view them in a way that empowers you. Humans aren’t supposed to look like mythical gods or airbrushed models in magazines; there’s a reason you are the way you are and it’s time to love every single part of yourself.
Reclaim your mirrors.
Instead of standing in the mirror feeling down about what’s looking back at you, reclaim your reflective surfaces! Stick a positive note to yourself on it so every time you look, you’re reminded of just how powerful and strong your body is, brushing all that self-doubt to the wayside.
Give yourself a nice scrub.
If you have some unwanted dimples on your body—hey, we all do!—spend some time exfoliating. Using a washcloth or loofah to scrub yourself from head to toe to help make your cellulite look better almost instantly. Unfortunately, the smoothness only last for a while, but if you exfoliate regularly, you can make your skin look better overall long-term.
Get a massage.
Sometimes you feel bad about your body simply because your body feels, well, bad. You go through a lot more wear and tear on your day-to-day than you even know—from your commute to sitting at a desk all day—and over time that can have plenty of negative effects on your body. Plus, massages also help get rid of built-up fluid in your body that can make you look puffy, says research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Grab some coconut oil.
You can make yourself glow from the inside out with what you eat, but why not just glow all-around? Using coconut oil on your body can keep your skin looking soft, smooth and vibrant, which instantly makes you feel better about your appearance.
Ditch alcohol and dairy.
Both alcohol and dairy can wreak havoc on your body and appearance, making your skin look dull, dry, and broken out—and making your body look bloated. When you cut them out, you’ll be astounded at how much better you look and feel, just from a couple of simple changes.
Tidy up your body hair.
When your body hair is looking messy and out of whack, it can easily change the way you look at yourself. When you’re looking fresh and trim, on the other hand, you’ll feel more put-together and see yourself in a much more positive light—all thanks to something as quick and simple as whipping out the razor. And for more ways to feel your best, master the 50 Ways to Look Red Carpet Ready.
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