Do you have a healthy self image?
You’re probably familiar with concepts such as self love (practices for finding ways to express and accept love for yourself) and self care (practices to care for your mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing) but how much do you know about self image?
Your self image is what it sounds like–the way in which you imagine yourself to be; what you think your skills, characteristics, virtues, values, flaws, etc are.
That isn’t to say that self love and self care are unrelated to your self image. Practicing self love and self care can help you to improve the quality of your own self image–if you’re making space to love and care for yourself regularly, you’re already behaving as though you see yourself worthy of those things. Even if you aren’t feeling it, that fake it ‘til you make it mindset can help take those practices from ways you’re just going through the motions to ways you show yourself the love and care you deserve.
But just like self love or self care practices, a healthy self image is something you can work to cultivate. If you struggle with your self image now, you’re not locked into that mindset for life! If you can work with a therapist, they can help you identify what the barriers to a healthy self image are for you, and work alongside you to address them.
For now, here are six blogs with practices that can help strengthen your sense of self and help you work to create a more positive self image:
How to Explore Your Personal Values + Why You Should
“Your values are exactly what they sound like–they are the things, or more specifically the characteristics and behaviors, etc.) you find important and valuable in life. In theory, our values are our roadmap to how we live our lives, but in practice we often let social pressures or others expectations lead our route because we don’t have a clear enough understanding of our values to let them lead.
Our values also help us connect with others who find importance in the same things that we do, which allows us to connect on a deeper, more personal level.”
Is it Okay to be Lazy?
“While the idea of laziness is a fraught one, the things we may consider to be “lazy” are actually good for us–just like everything else–when pursued intentionally. Even when you are just laying on the couch and resting, there’s a purpose for that. Your body needs rest. (And, it’s your free time! If you like to lay on the couch and read more than going to the gym or working on a side hustle, you get to do that. Your life should be guided by your values, not someone else’s.)”
Why It’s Important to Do Things Alone (+ 40 Things You Can Do)
“How well do you know yourself? One way to get to know yourself better is to spend time by yourself. Being alone gives you a chance to reflect on what is meaningful to you, what your values are, and what your goals are. When you know what is important to you, you can act in ways that align with your values, which can be a great feeling. Making choices without being influenced by others can help you get in the habit of trusting yourself and your own judgment.”
Reframing Negative Thoughts
“You might think the antidote to all of this is positive thinking, however–though positive thinking can be a powerful tool when used intentionally–it’s also not realistic or healthy to ask someone to be positive 100% of the time either. In fact, putting pressure on yourself to be happy 100% of the time can make you feel worse when you’re going through a hard time–like if you tried harder you would be able to just get over it. Instead it’s about reframing those negative thoughts into something more realistic. The first step to doing this is developing a sense of awareness when your negative thought spirals do occur.”
4 Ways Time Alone Helps Us & How to Ask For It
“We have better relationships when we show up in them as our authentic selves. But, if you’re always with others, you might not have the space to explore who your authentic self is. Other’s opinions and expectations can muddy the waters a bit, and you can find yourself making choices based on what you think others want instead of what is right for you. Taking time by yourself to really get to know yourself helps you figure out what you want, what makes you feel fulfilled, what gives you energy, what excites you, what intrigues you, what upsets you, what comforts you, etc. And when you know those things about yourself, you get to share them with others! So how can you communicate a need for space?”
How to Care Less About What Others Think
“There’s an appropriate amount of caring about what others think of you. That’s what manners are! You want to be comfortable as yourself, but not offend others unnecessarily. And in intimate relationships (romantic, platonic or family relationships) being open to hearing what others think of you can present opportunities for vulnerability and increase intimacy within the relationship. Giving thought to others isn’t bad in itself, it’s when the thought of what others may think of you starts controlling how you act is when it becomes a problem.”