Self Esteem & Confidence
How I Help Patients Cope with Negative Body Image:
Self-Compassion. Be true to yourself when you evaluate your personal beliefs ideas, and negativity about your body and the bodies you see around you.
Expand your conception of beauty. Articulate what beauty is to you. Look at art, learn about other cultures, and spend time in nature. Give yourself reminders that everyone and thing possesses its own individual beauty. How are the people around you beautiful?
Talk back to harmful body thoughts. When you find yourself being self-critical, refute the statements. Utilize positive affirmations and replace emotional language with rational thoughts.
Process body trauma with support. Sometimes body image issues can be caused by to past trauma. Trauma could present itself in the form of abuse, rejection, taunting or abandonment. To heal this pain is a difficult process, so it is recommended to work through it with a therapist.
Tolerate negative body talk without acting on it. It takes more than a day to process and recover from body image struggles. It will take some time to love your body, and acknowledging this is an important step. There will be times that negative body talk may feel inevitable, but it is important to resist the temptation of reverting back to old habits. Learn to refute your statements, or decide to not listen to any negative talk.
Understand the deeper meanings. Negative body talk can be symptom of eating disorders, just like binges are. You may find deeper meaning behind phrases like “I am so fat” (I feel worthless) or “I must lose weight” (My life lacks meaning). When these thoughts occur, recognize them as representative of larger issues, and work to understand them.
Reconnect body & mind. Activities like yoga, stretching, dancing, Pilates, and Tai Chi, reunite body and mind through focus on the physicality of a singular moment. These activities can be great practices to both create a serene mind, and also build a better relationship with your body.
Write your body a letter. Remember to thank your body for all the work it does for you. Appreciate the life that you have! Write to your body as if it is your soulmate. Your body truly is your soul’s companion.
How I Help Patients Boost Their Confidence:
The more confidence you have to make a change, the more successful you will be. Although many people have doubts about their ability to lose weight and keep it off, it can be done. You can do it!
On a scale of 0 to 10, how confident are you that you will be able to change your eating and physical activity to control your weight?
Some suggestions about ways to strengthen your confidence:
- If you are above 0, ask yourself, “What makes this a ___, and not a zero?”
- Ask yourself, “What would it take to make that number 2 or 3 points higher?”
- Ask, What would make me more confident?”
- Arrange to make those things happen.
Recall things you did successfully in the past:
- Remember how you did those things. What did you do to make it happen?
- Think about how you can use the successful techniques from the past to accomplish what you want to do now.
- Keep telling yourself you can do it.
Interested? Please send an email to Dr. Kolzet at firstname.lastname@example.org