People from across all walks of life have been encountering issues with their body image for generations. After all, we instinctively compare ourselves to others; this tendency is what fuels our status drive and allows us to form social hierarchies. However, the escalating impact of social media on modern life-both in terms of our ability to make comparisons and the unrealistic standard of beauty it can present-has brought body image concerns into the spotlight. Status pressure and negative influences now carry incredible weight compared to generations past. These days, a negative body image isn’t something you can easily shrug off. It weighs heavily on your emotions.
And when you think emotionally, it can be hard to take effective action and address the problem. From that perspective, it makes sense to trigger the rational side of the brain instead. Here’s how you can use the business tactic of SWOT analysis to confront those issues and come up with a plan to improve your body image methodically.
What are your strengths? Think about the unique inherent qualities you possess.
They could be characteristics that you’ve been praised for in the past.
These don’t have to be limited to the physical aspect, either.
You may have a talent for art or writing, which few people know about because they focus on superficial things.
Or perhaps you give your best to building relationships with people-being a loyal friend, devoted child, or a caring member of the community.
Make a list of these things starting today.
Every day, read that list and add one more thing to it.
Use this activity to reinforce your self-belief and build upon a foundation of positivity.
Weaknesses in the SWOT model are, like strengths, inherent qualities-except that they bring you down.
Note that as far as body image is concerned, weakness does not refer to physical flaws or things that others use to criticize you.
In this regard, weakness is what saps at your confidence-and most often, that is a poor active relationship with your body.
Think about what other people do to be confident in their body image. It’s not about the toned muscles or trim waistlines-it’s merely enjoying their bodies.
Get into any form of physical activity-dance, yoga, bird-watching-not because you feel pressured to lose weight, but because you enjoy it, and it helps you feel happy about naturally using your body.
When you consider opportunities to improve your body image, these are external factors.
If you act upon them, you’ll be able to improve.
The range of options you have in this respect can be quite varied.
For instance, you can reach out to people in your support network, or to professionals who can give you counseling. Or you can change your wardrobe and wear clothes that reflect who you are, not what society is pressuring you to be.
Don’t dismiss certain opportunities as superficial, either.
True beauty is not skin-deep, but studies have shown that out of all parts of the body, improving the satisfaction of your skin has the most significant influence on self-esteem.
Making an effort to boost your skincare through simple cleansing products like The Ordinary can spark that sense of ritual improvement.
Threats are external influences that harm your body image.
For a lot of us, immediate threats include the people around us.
Not only do we tend to compare ourselves to them, but more importantly, we are influenced by the way they view others and their attitudes towards body image.
If you find yourself surrounded by negative thinking and superficial attitudes, start being more deliberate in choosing the people you spend time with.
The biggest threat to a healthy body image in today’s world might be social media.
Few people can successfully manage their relationship with social media and use it healthily, enjoying the positives while tuning out negative influences.
If you are experiencing difficulties due to the effects of social media, start by curating your feeds.
Unfollow people and brands who may be sending out messages that are harmful to your body image.
If necessary, take a detox from your devices and spend the time to refocus on loving yourself.
Negative body image can be a huge problem to overcome, and you may have to tackle it using many different steps.
But getting started can be a simple matter of using the left side of your brain and sticking to this logical plan of improvement.