I think it’s probably quite safe for me to say that we all have issues with our self-image at times.
Whether you constantly feel down about yourself and the way you look, or you just have your moments when you look in the mirror and don’t completely love what you see. We could all do with making changes and taking steps to feeling better about ourselves.
Here’s an interesting little trick for something you can try to boost your self-image.
Start practising mindfulness.
Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzz word in the last few years, and is becoming a more and more common thing to do. My children even practise it at school which I think is amazing.
It’s become so popular because there are so many benefits to it. One of these benefits is a boost in self-image.
If you’ve not heard of it before, mindfulness is basically about slowing things down and paying attention to all the little details of what you’re doing and what’s happening around you.
You can work mindfulness into your life in a few different ways.
If you have the time and distraction-free space to do it, then meditating is a great place to start. Sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing, while letting go of any thoughts that come into your head keeps you grounded in the current moment. Which is what mindfulness is all about.
It’s about really being present.
Not worrying about the past or fretting about the future.
If you’re feeling stressed you can take a minute and clench your hands tightly into fists, and then release them. Then do the same with your toes. Focus all your attention on this physical act and how it feels.
This brings you back to the moment. It grounds you in the now.
Mindfulness is also about noticing the world around us and really experiencing things.
It sounds silly but doing the washing up can be a mindful activity when you really notice the smell of the washing up liquid, and feel the softness of the bubbles on your skin.
A more fun way to experience this though would be during relaxing spa days where you breathe in the scents of relaxing oils, enjoy the bubbles of the hot tub and let all thoughts and worries drift away as you focus completely on the sensation of a facial or massage.
There are lots of benefits of practising mindfulness.
It can reduce stress and improve all sorts of mental health issues. It helps us engage fully in activities and helps us deal with adversity. It’s even been found to lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain and improve our sleep.
What’s really interesting though is that mindfulness has also been found to boost our self-image.
A study from 2014 that asked women to complete three weeks of self-compassion meditation training found that they “experienced significantly greater reduction in body dissatisfaction, body shame and contingent self-worth based on appearance, as well as greater gains in self-compassion and body appreciation” compared to women in a control group.
Now, this study is talking specifically about using a particular type of meditation, but all types of mindfulness have been found to result in changes to the white matter in the areas of our brains involved with self-regulation. It impacts the brain systems that control emotion regulation and self-awareness.
All of which leads to us feeling calmer, more self-aware and better about ourselves all round.
Do you practice mindfulness? There are so many benefits to all aspects of our health and well-being, it’s definitely worth trying to build it into your life.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post