Five tips to help you boost your body confidence
According to Lisa Snowden, speaking as part of TENA’s latest campaign, the Age of Confidence, confidence isn’t something that comes natural to women.
As part of TENA’s campaign, 2,000+ UK women were asked about body confidence, how it affects their daily lives and personal relationships – and if their feelings have changed with age.
The findings were eye-opening and concerning: 28% of women admitted that they started feeling body conscious before they reached age 16, for example.
We see unrealistic beauty standards everywhere, from magazines to online. So, it’s vital for women to embrace their bodies and feel as comfortable as possible. Especially at work, where, in certain industries especially, it isn’t easy being female.
To help you feel more confident about your body – and yourself – we share the five tips below.
1) Make healthy choices
First and foremost, embrace the mantra “your body is a temple”. And this doesn’t mean wasting time and money on impossible diets, constantly trying to lose weight. Ditch the scales and calorie-tracking apps – focus on eating food that makes you feel energetic and well.
If you fuel your body with substantial nourishment, which helps keep you active, you’ll feel unstoppable. Concentrate on what a healthy body is rather than what it looks like.
Don’t be scared to enjoy and treat yourself to a delicious meal out either – “What gives me confidence is going out for dinner, wearing something I feel good in,” shared Lisa Snowdon.
2) Practice mindfulness
22% of survey respondents said practicing mindfulness and meditation for more positive thinking increases their body confidence. And nearly half think a negative relationship with their bodies affects their mental health.
So, before your next, big presentation or a difficult conversation, breathing exercises can be calming and grounding. Broaching a delicate topic with your manager, like a raise, can be scary.
If you start experiencing anxiety balling up inside, step back and take a few long breaths from deep within your diaphragm. This will help to regulate your breathing and give you more oxygen, which will dissipate the tension in your chest and any shortness of breath.
3) Find support groups
Many women struggle with body confidence. And feeling seen and heard – a woman of worth! – is important. Finding people in a similar situation to you and sharing all could change your view – or at least release some stress.
“We struggle with confidence for different reasons: past trauma, unkind words that you can’t unhear, bullying at school, abusive relationships…” admits Lisa, “we need to dig deep and find our own sense of worth and push the negativity away”.
12% of UK women think that more support groups will help increase their body confidence. Thankfully, there are already various women’s circles, and therapies on body image available (online and in-person). If your struggles with how you perceive yourself are inhibiting your ability to progress at work or day-to-day life, why not give a group support session a go?
4) Take a social detox
39% of survey respondents admitted that they compare themselves to celebrities both on TV and social media.
Seeing realistic bodies on these platforms would be a breath of fresh air – but we can’t control this. So, what can we do?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and notice you’ve been comparing yourself to famous people, or even some of your friends, take a step back. Consider setting tighter boundaries between you and the source of your worries. Do you need to hide that person’s profile? Or even unfollow them?
You could limit the time you spend watching TV or scrolling on your phone. Everyone is on their own journey, and in a different body, so comparing yourself to others will only damage your sense of worth.
Think about what you’re grateful for. And what else you could do with your time. Is there something fun or creative you never find the time for, like drawing or crafts?
5) Treat yourself
Showing kindness to your body can work wonders for your self-esteem. Take time to reward your body for everything it does for you, which is a lot!
You might have had a stressful day at work, or juggling mum duties and your own life has taken a toll – suddenly, you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. And attacking your body becomes your way of releasing stress.
During those times, ask yourself instead: what makes you feel loved and appreciated? Is it a warm bath? A spa day? Whatever you choose, focus on feeling fortunate for what you have and the best moments you have in your body, due to the person you are. Maybe this was landing your dream job? Or navigating a career change, full of exciting opportunities, all because you believed you could.
Join Lisa Snowdon’s call, “it doesn’t matter at what age we find that confidence – we deserve to feel as good as we possibly can.”
Give your body the kindness it deserves, and you’ll slowly start building up your confidence. It won’t happen overnight. But if you’re falling into the same habits or feel a loss of control, these simple five tips can help break the pattern and give your mind some respite from spirals of self-deprecating thought.