Confidence has always been a crucial factor of success for people. Whether we refer to the professional level or the personal matters of our lives, it is an attribute of extreme importance. Let us take a glance at one of its aspects, which seems to affect the lives of numerous individuals: That of body confidence.
What is body confidence?
The concept of body confidence refers to the way one feels about his physical presence. Although it is naturally relevant to physical health, we should open a short parenthesis: On numerous occasions, body confidence is the product of the mass culture of the Western civilization as well as the projection of super-fit models that are supposed to be the norm of a healthy body. As the many cases of anorexia nervosa worldwide imply, such role models are far from what should be the case of a healthy body.
Closing the parenthesis, we shall not neglect to highlight the natural body changes that come along with years. As people age, their bodies lose the elasticity and agility of the youth. This is unavoidable and any attempt of reaching the “eternal youth” state is pointless. This does not mean that body confidence is unachievable after a certain age. On the contrary, there are many examples of people who felt better with their bodies at an older age compared to their youth.
How can you build body confidence?
The irrelevance of age to a person's body confidence is not strange. It all has to do with the mental aspect of it. Before we feel confident with our bodies, we have to feel confident with ourselves. In most cases, lack of body confidence is the outcome of lack of self-esteem, not its cause. Therefore this is the first step. How can we reach the state of stability of emotions and actions? Well, this is not an achievement that comes without effort. We could summarise the basic tools of building self-confidence to the following:
- Think positive
- Erase negative thoughts
- Control your online activity
- Be grateful for what you have
- Engage with activities you love
- Surround yourself with positive people
All the above factors can, indeed, make a difference and lift you. Most people's negative mindset is influenced by one or more of such factors. Having peers who always think negatively, surfing pointlessly for hours in front of a screen, complaining all the time about your life and practising activities you don't enjoy at all, will most likely diminish confidence. Reduce them as much as possible and you will immediately feel the difference.
Why body confidence comes from within
Unlike the popular notion that body confidence can occur as a result of hard training, extensive diet or conforming with the media standards about how the perfect body must be, the truth seems to be different. Probably the most striking proof of that is the high rates of depression among top athletes worldwide. The examples of Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Andres Iniesta and Kevil Love-elite athletes who had admitted their depression issues- are just the tip of the iceberg. Isn't it a paradox that people with outstanding body image seem to lack happiness? Of course, each individual is unique and there can't be any simple generalisations. Nonetheless, the bottom line is that body confidence is just a part of the overall picture of prosperity. Yes, it's vital to avoid obesity and keep a healthy diet. Certainly, there is great value in practising our bodies and keeping fit. In the end though, what is important is the combination of physical and mental health. This is why it's so important to realise that body confidence can only come from our inner selves. Not merely, by the way, our body looks.
Body confidence and self-esteem
The assumption that body confidence is a reflection of our minds and not our mirrors, leads us to another crucial association: That of body confidence and self-esteem. We can't think of the one without the other. The way we perceive our body image affects enormously our sense of self-esteem. Adding value to our self-image is a multiplier of our personality traits. When we feel well with our bodies, chances are that we can have more balanced personal and social interactions. Maintaining a healthy body is not good just from a physical point of view, but also for our emotional and spiritual well-being. There should be a holistic approach when thinking about such issues because human beings are the most complex creatures on the planet. It's significant to repeat it: The mental approach we take on our lives should be our number one priority. Physical and mental health cannot be viewed separately. Treating our bodies with the proper respect is not just a method for looking good to other people. It's the fundamental foundation of our health. It's a basic aspect of our mental health. It's the basis of our overall progression in life. So, let us all encourage ourselves and others, in the name of the happiness that we all deserve.