How would you talk to a close friend or family member? My guess is that you would not be body shaming them, telling them they aren’t good enough, or saying they are a terrible person for eating two cookies. So why do we tell ourselves these things?!
Your inner voice holds a lot of power over your emotions, behaviors, and beliefs. If you are constantly telling yourself how much you hate the way you look, obviously, you are going to start to feel bad about yourself.
Your confidence and sense of self worth will plummet and it will slowly leak out in the form of bad decisions affecting how you treat yourself and others. A negative inner voice makes it hard to make sustainable health-supporting changes.
With all of that being said, how can you change your inner voice??
Practice speaking positive affirmations to those around you.
Start with your friends and family and make a conscious effort to say something positive to at least one person each day. Then build up to speaking those positive affirmations to strangers you walk by and make their day!
Try to be mindful of your thoughts about yourself and others. When you catch yourself saying something negative either towards yourself or others, change that thought to be either neutral or positive. Example: Change this negative thought, “My thighs look so big today, I hate them.” to either something neutral, “My thighs help get me to and from class each day.” or something positive, “My thighs are strong, they hold power, and they make my body beautifully complete.”
Practice writing positive affirmations.
Write on sticky notes positive affirmations and paste them around your room. Or download a positive affirmation app on your phone and set up notifications. Write affirmations on your mirror to ensure that you see them each day and be reminded of how worthy you are.
Choose friends wisely.
A college campus is a great place to meet a bunch of new friends, but that doesn’t mean you have to be friends with everyone. Try to choose friends who are positive, affirming, and will encourage you on your journey to becoming healthy rather than shame you into trying to be healthy.
Be kind to yourself this year, you’ve been through a lot and the start of school is overwhelming. Just by changing your thoughts, you are one step closer to living a healthier life. Sign up for a UCAN session for extra support on your health journey!