A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

6 ways to build body confidence

Female shopper looking in mirror standing in clothes store.

If you’re struggling with a negative body image, read on to discover ways to build your body confidence so you can feel good in your own skin.

Over 90% of American women report feeling unhappy with their bodies. This staggering statistic can wreak havoc on the self-esteem of women of all ages – from pre-teen to post-menopausal. If you’re struggling with a negative body image, read on to discover ways to build your body confidence so you can feel good in your own skin.

  1. Exercise

Exercise makes our list of body confidence tips, but not for obvious reasons. While we know that working out burns calories, strengthens muscles, and improves flexibility, it can also improve self-esteem so you can be confident in your body. Experts suggest that just 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise each day is enough to keep you fit and healthy from the inside out.

Check out these ideas for moderate and vigorous intensity exercises here.

  1. Compliment yourself

It seems easy for women to criticize their hair, skin, bust size, and other physical traits, but try to resist that urge. Instead, start each day by complimenting yourself. Think about your favorite features and say how much you love them out loud. For example, say, “I love my big, blue and beautiful eyes.” Complimenting yourself out loud can help you recognize all the unique qualities that make you who you are.

Pledge more affection to yourself with these additional ways to practice self-love.

  1. Spend time with others who love you just as you are

Choosing to surround yourself with the love and support of friends and family members who love you exactly the way you are can go a long way in boosting your body confidence. Take time to notice how you feel in the company of other people. If they sabotage your self-improvement efforts or otherwise make you feel inferior, it’s best to limit your interactions. Focus instead on building meaningful and encouraging relationships that make you feel good.

  1. Channel your inner stylist

While it may seem superficial, the clothing you wear can make an impact on your body confidence. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy expensive clothing! Start with your current wardrobe. Are there pieces in your closet that make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious when you wear them? It’s time to donate them! Keep only the items that make you hold your head high. Giving yourself permission to purge clothes that aren’t working for you can be empowering.

Follow these tips for dressing for your body type to discover the kinds of outfits that can make you feel even more self-assured.

  1. Leave the desire for perfection behind

In the age of Photoshop and media pressure to look “perfect,” it’s easy to forget that our so-called imperfections are the very qualities that make us human. Just like everything else in nature, human beings are perfectly imperfect – it’s the way we are designed and the way we are intended to be. Learning to accept and embrace who you are can help you feel more confident in your body.

  1. Talk to someone

If you are struggling with a negative body image and it’s affecting your life, reach out to a trusted family member, friend, or therapist. Asking for help can help you discover your intrinsic beauty so you can find lasting happiness.

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