Article written by KidsHealth.org
If you have a positive body image, you probably like and accept yourself the way you are. This healthy attitude allows you to explore other aspects of growing up, such as developing good friendships, growing more independent from your parents, and challenging yourself physically and mentally. Developing these parts of yourself can help boost your self-esteem.
A positive, optimistic attitude can help people develop strong healthy self esteem — for example, saying, “Hey, I’m human” instead of “Wow, I’m such a loser” when you’ve made a mistake, or not blaming others when things don’t go as expected.
Knowing what makes you happy and how to meet your goals can help you feel capable, strong, and in control of your life. A positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle (such as exercising and eating right) are a great combination for building good self-esteem.
Tips for Improving Your Body Image
Some people think they need to change how they look or act to feel good about themselves. But actually all you need to do is change the way you see your body and how you think about yourself.
- The first thing to do is recognize that your body is your own, no matter what shape, size, or color it comes in. If you’re very worried about your weight or size, check with your doctor to verify that things are OK. But it’s no one’s business but your own what your body is like — ultimately, you have to be happy with yourself.
- Next, identify which aspects of your appearance you can realistically change and which you can’t. Everyone (even the most perfect-seeming celeb) has things about themselves that they can’t change and need to accept — like their height, for example, or their shoe size.
- If there are things about yourself that you want to change and can (such as how fit you are), do this by making goals for yourself. For example, if you want to get fit, make a plan to exercise every day and eat nutritious foods. Then keep track of your progress until you reach your goal. Meeting a challenge you set for yourself is a great way to boost self-esteem!
- When you hear negative comments coming from within yourself, tell yourself to stop. Try building your self-esteem by giving yourself three compliments every day. While you’re at it, every evening list three things in your day that really gave you pleasure. It can be anything from the way the sun felt on your face, the sound of your favorite band, or the way someone laughed at your jokes. By focusing on the good things you do and the positive aspects of your life, you can change how you feel about yourself.
Where Can I Go if I Need Help?
Sometimes low self-esteem and body image problems are too much to handle alone. A few teens may become depressed, lose interest in activities or friends — and even hurt themselves or resort to alcohol or drug abuse.
If you’re feeling this way, it can help to talk to a parent, coach, religious leader, guidance counselor, therapist, or an adult friend. A trusted adult — someone who supports you and doesn’t bring you down — can help you put your body image in perspective and give you positive feedback about your body, your skills, and your abilities.
If you can’t turn to anyone you know, call a teen crisis hotline (check the yellow pages under social services or search online). The most important thing is to get help if you feel like your body image and self-esteem are affecting your life.
Teens and Tweens can create good self-esteem with practice by listening to Indigo Teen Dreams CD . This CD incorporates relaxation techniques, positive statements/positive self-talk and teenage music.