6 Instant Body-Confidence Boosters

6 Instant Body-Confidence Boosters

Try these quick tricks to bolster self-esteem and body image today.


By: Maressa Brown

We all have those days when we’re frustrated by those jeans that suddenly aren’t fitting the same as they used to or when we're less than thrilled by the reflection in the mirror. Compromised body image is all too common: Research indicates that at least 80 percent of women over 18 are unhappy with what they see when they look in the mirror. Thankfully, there are easy methods to boost body confidence in a healthy way. Here are six tips to start feeling better about the skin you’re in right now.

1. Smile. Not only will you instantly look happier and thus, more confident, but research shows that smiling when you’re stressed lowers the heart rate and leads to more positive emotions. What’s more, researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands studied a phenomenon called evaluative conditioning by showing women pictures of their own bodies paired with positive, neutral, or negative stimuli (smiling, neutral, or frowning faces). Their conclusion: Even for women with high body concern, pairing pictures of their bodies with smiling faces increased body satisfaction and self-esteem!

2. Be friendly to your body when with friends. Women are especially at risk for trading weight-related grievances with friends. But the back-and-forth over who is the bigger size or has more pounds to drop isn’t doing anyone any favors. If you’re falling into this trap, you could lay the groundwork with your friends that you would rather steer clear of conversations like these. Or simply change the subject when the discussion appears to move in that direction.

3. Exercise. It may sound like a no-brainer that working out makes you feel better about your body. But it’s even more powerful than you might guess. Get this: Research published in the Journal of Health Psychology found that even if you’re not reaching certain milestones with your workout regimen -- like losing fat, gaining strength, or boosting cardiovascular fitness -- you’ll still feel as good about your body as someone who is hitting those marks more readily. Even more reason to get moving!

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4. Rewrite your inner monologue. Try to consciously swap out thoughts like, “I really need to lose 10 pounds” for “I have beautiful eyes” or “I’m a loyal, loving friend.” This type of cognitive maneuver can bolster self-esteem overall and keep you focused on the positive.

5. Try a mantra. Repeating a mantra throughout the day can boost your self-esteem and body image, recommends wellness expert Michelle Nielsen. Try something like, “I deserve to feel good every day” or “I feel secure in who I am and do not need to compare myself to others.”

6. Write a sweet note. Take a tip from the organization Operation Beautiful, which is dedicated to promoting self-esteem and building confidence, and write yourself a complimentary sticky note that says “you are beautiful” or something similar. Then place it somewhere you will notice it, like your wallet, purse, or bathroom mirror.

What helps boost your body confidence?




Maressa Brown is a senior staff writer for The Stir. She loves writing about and reading up on health/fitness, relationships, and pop culture -- preferably on a beach somewhere.

Image ©iStock.com/Berc

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