If your young person needs to improve the way they see themselves, here are some strategies they can use. To begin, they should try to stop treating their body as an object, and avoid comparing it to the “ideal” bodies that they see in the media. Encourage them to think about how much time they spend mentally assessing their physical appearance, and worrying about how others see them.
Your young person can begin to love their body by recognizing that how they think others may see them doesn’t matter, only their own viewpoint matters in this regard. Encourage your young person to take pride in themselves by standing tall with their chest wide and shoulders relaxed, to demonstrate love for their body. Suggest that your young person continually remind themselves of all the things they like about themselves, inside and out, and all the things their body can do and accomplish. By doing these things over time, they can slowly develop an appreciation for and acceptance of their body.
Helping your young person to fully appreciate their individual physical, social, and learning strengths and challenges will also help them grow their self-acceptance. Is your young person neurodivergent? Do they have motor or learning differences from many of their peers? Are they dyslexic or have ADHD? Are they deaf or low vision? With each of these unique differences come so many amazing strengths and abilities. Help your young person celebrate their individuality and find successful role models.
For your young person to change their mindset of how they see themselves, they will need to work to stop any thoughts that focus on only one aspect or part of themselves that they have negative thoughts about. Encourage them to see themselves as a whole person and not just negative parts.
Advise your young person to try to change the way they talk to themselves and about themselves from negative, to positive. To develop a healthy connection with our bodies and minds, we need to stop speaking so harshly to ourselves! We must unlearn society’s method of doing things and do things our way! Propose that your young person treats themselves and their body as a friend — this is a major step toward developing a good self-perception. Encourage your young person to be kind to themselves.
Your young person will also need to remove any negative influences that cause them to feel shame, anxious, or insecure about themselves. This can include, stopping the viewing of negative and distorted media or distancing themselves from anyone or anything that does not support and love them for who they are.
Above all, remind them that it is alright to make mistakes along the way. Be patient; improving our everyday habits is a marathon, not a sprint. Self-love may contribute significantly to a healthy lifestyle.