Throughout our lives, our bodies will change – and that’s a fact.
There are so many different factors that can affect the way our bodies look, from life stressors to our genetics. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t treat our bodies with kindness. That’s where body confidence comes in.
If you’re not sure what body confidence is exactly or why it’s important, we can help with that. Discover 7 of the best ways to have more body confidence in our guide below.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- The importance of body confidence
- Why we need body confidence
- If body confidence is attractive
- How to get more confident in your body
What is the importance of body confidence?
Body confidence is tied in with self-worth, which is super important for leading a happy life.
If you’re positive about your body then you’re less likely to accept negative comments from others – and therefore feel worse about yourself.1
Why do we need body confidence?
We need body confidence as a negative body image has been found to make you more susceptible to mental illnesses, like depression and eating disorders.2
There is a theory from researchers that the reason why women tend to experience depression more than men do is because of poor body image and a lack of body confidence.3
Is body confidence attractive?
You’ve probably heard about how confidence is super important if you’re looking for a partner, but why is that?
Well, being confident in yourself and your body shows that you know who you are as a person, you accept it and you’re proud of it.
This generally means that in a relationship, you’ll be able to make decisions with ease – and pick yourself up if things go wrong.
How to be body confident
If you’re not feeling particularly confident in your body, don’t worry as this can be worked on. It may take a little bit of time, but things like changing your mindset, being kind to yourself and focusing on the right things can all help.
We’ll delve deeper into ways you can be more body confident below!
7 ways to be more body confident
Talk to yourself in the mirror
Just trust us on this one. While it may seem a little awkward at first, bigging yourself up in the mirror is a great way to accept yourself for who you truly are, which in turn can boost your body confidence.
A fancy way of describing this is known as ‘positive affirmations’ or ‘mantras’.
These affirmations are essentially small phrases that you repeat to yourself in order to harness the ‘law of attraction’.
By repeating these positive mantras, you’re focusing on things that you want to achieve in your life, like body confidence, rather than focusing on what you don’t want, i.e. feeling unhappy with your body.
Research from 2015 found that our brains neural pathways of self-affirmation were associated with objective behaviour changes and that the brain systems involved in positive valuation may be strengthened by this activity.4
Some examples that you could try include:
- “My body deserves love and respect just as it is.”
- “I fuel my body with nourishing food and exercise it because it deserves to be taken care of.”
- “I am comfortable in my own skin.”
- "My self-worth isn't defined by my weight. I define my worth and I am already worthy."
Make a note of these or any other mantras that resonate with you on a more personal level, then make an effort to repeat them to yourself in the mirror when you wake up and before you go to sleep.
Move your body in a way that you enjoy
We all know how exercise can physically benefit our bodies, but it can also affect our outlook as well.
For one, doing exercise can give you a sense of achievement and purpose in your daily life, which can have a positive impact on our mental health and therefore the way we view ourselves. But it is really important to exercise in a way that you enjoy.
There are a number of reasons for this, but firstly, why would you spend your free time doing something that makes you miserable? This is only going to make you feel worse.
Instead, try a load of different exercises until you find something that makes your heart sing.
Whether it’s dance classes, swimming, running or yoga, moving your body in a way that you enjoy will make you motivated to keep it up in the long run and consistency is key.
If you’re feeling very insecure about the way your body looks during exercise, don’t worry.
Start small with activities like dancing in your kitchen or walking around the local park with your friends and family until you feel more able to try new things or exercise in public places.
If you never get there, that’s fine. Just make sure you stay consistent with the activity you get the most enjoyment out of.
The link between body image and exercise has been studied in the past few years. The results showed that women who struggled with body confidence felt better about their figures immediately after 20-30 minutes of exercise, compared to those who spent the same amount of time reading.5
Buy clothes that fit your body
If you’ve recently gained weight, you may be feeling a bit down about not fitting into your clothes – and this is normal.
But it’s important to not punish yourself by squeezing yourself into clothes that are tight and uncomfortable. Not only can this negatively affect how you view yourself, but it can also be highly impractical and get in the way of your day-to-day activities.
Your clothes are there to fit you, not the other way around.
If you’ve decided you want to lose a little bit of weight so you can fit into them, then that is your choice and you’re allowed to want this. But it may be worth investing in some new key pieces of clothing in the meantime, as healthy weight loss should be done in a slow and sustainable manner – and you deserve to be comfortable and confident now as well as in the future.
Follow a range of different body types on your socials
Most of us nowadays use social media every day and for the last two years people have spent a daily average of 145 minutes on social networks.6
In media more generally, a certain body type has been splattered over magazines, TV shows and films for many years. But it doesn’t have to be this way on your phone.
It is important to remind yourself that there are so many different kinds of bodies – and they’re all beautiful.
You can do this by following a selection of different people and groups online, each with a varying body type so that you’re not constantly seeing the traditional beauty standard.
It may take a while to curate your feed so that you get it right, so it’s worth checking in every now and then to make sure everything you’re seeing is nourishing and healthy for you.
This is essential for your body confidence, as a review of 20 different research papers found that activities that are photo-based, like scrolling through Instagram, were a common cause of negative thoughts about your body.7
Be grateful for what your body can do
Ah good old gratitude… what isn’t it good for?!
Shifting your focus around your body can be a great way to boost your body confidence. Instead of putting yourself down for the things your body can’t do or how it looks, you should try to think of all the things your body can do instead.
If you’re struggling to do this off the top of your head, you could try making it into a daily exercise until you’re more familiar with these thoughts.
Each morning, list in your journal five things that you’re grateful your body can do.
You may want to take inspiration from some of the following prompts:
- I am grateful for my eyes which allow me to see beauty in life
- I am grateful for my legs which move me forward
- I am grateful for my arms that I can wave in the air
- I am grateful for my nose that allows me to smell my favourite scents
- I am grateful for my ears that I can hear the sounds of nature with
Take a break from your bathroom scales
While scales can sometimes be useful for motivation on a health journey, they’re absolutely not a necessity.
You can measure your progress through a range of other ways, whether it’s how your clothes fit, how you look in the mirror, how much nutritious food you’ve been eating or how consistent you’ve been with your exercise.
If you’re already lacking in body confidence, you may find that weighing yourself can be a triggering experience.
In addition to this, the scales going up or down aren’t always necessarily an accurate depiction of your progress.
It’s worth reminding yourself that the average person’s weight fluctuates up to 5 or 6 pounds every day, even if you’re eating healthily and exercising regularly, which can be discouraging and potentially demotivating if you’re trying to be more body confident.
Just because you may not love your body at the moment, you should still treat it with respect, love and care.
It may sound a bit cliché, but pampering yourself should be something you treat yourself to every now and then. And this may look different for each person, which is absolutely okay.
Pampering yourself is important because it can be relaxing for your body and your mind.
The act of it alone can trigger the ‘happy’ hormones, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, which can have beneficial impacts on things like your sleep, mood and even pain you may be experiencing.8
The final say
We hope you’re feeling better equipped to be more body confident with our seven different tips on how to be confident in your body – just remember you are not defined by the way your body looks!
Read more: Taking care of yourself: Self-care ideas
Why fashion is a form of self care, with Kat Farmer
In this episode, Kat shares her tips on finding your fashion tribe and regaining your sense of self, as well as her personal experiences of menopause and why age shouldn’t impact the type of clothes you can wear.
Why fashion is a form of self care, with Kat Farmer
Last updated: 15 June 2022