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Have you ever felt misjudged and always seeking outside validation because of the way you look physically? Perhaps it is your stretch marks that bother you or perhaps your big thighs, maybe your breasts are small or your tummy is not the perfect shape. There are days when you will feel good about who you are but the bad days often back you into a corner. There are days when you feel like no part of your body is beautiful or worthy enough to receive absolute adoration. Having body insecurities exist in all of us and at some point in our lives, we all go through that very insecure place with ourselves and what we look like. These insecurities may stem from our culture, societal expectations and perhaps even our childhood upbringing and how we were conditioned to look at ourselves. Often this perception of ourselves is created by those who are closest to us such as our friends and colleagues.
As we grow older, these insecurities spark further criticism by how society defines the narrative of beauty especially for us as women. We are told to look and act a certain way to appease the world and especially to be perceived as more attractive to the opposite gender. Often our weight is a huge topic of discussion, we are told to eat less or in some cases to eat more. People often feel like it is appropriate to tell us what to wear and what is most appropriate, so that we may feel validated and accepted.
There are many ways we can overcome our body insecurities. Here are 3 powerful tips to amplify the beauty that you've always had and be more confident by embracing your body:
Remember that your emotions are neither right nor wrong, they simply exist. You are allowed to feel your emotions, to cry or feel sad. Know that your authentic self matters. In order to figure out who you are at your core and at your most authentic, you have to take the time to learn and know yourself. When you learn to know and accept yourself, being vulnerable will be something that you don't ever have to feel ashamed of or be apologetic about. Allow your vulnerability to empower you. It is not a weakness but a strength that we should all have in order to embrace our true identities and the beauty our inner selves highlights.
Remember that your emotions are neither right nor wrong, they simply exist. You are allowed to feel your emotions, to cry or feel sad. | Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash
Oftentimes we are our own biggest critics. Sometimes we can't help but put ourselves down. This stems from the insecurities that we carry within us. Spend time in self-study and realise your true potential and let go of negative influences that affect how you view yourself. Believe in the restoration of self-love and acceptance in your life and realise the magnitude that your identity carries which is more than just your physical appearance. Remember that the journey to more self-love is love itself.
Spend time in self-study and realise your true potential and let go of negative influences that affect how you view yourself. | Photo by Михаил Секацкий on Unsplash
Read about the Significance of Self-love.
Be Zen From Within:
It's easy to have a negative opinion about ourselves, especially when we are not mindful of our lives. We are consumed by the fast-paced world around us and often our minds are caught up in our insecurities. Being mindful means being present in the moment; body, mind and soul. Let go of the old programming that holds you back, say 'yes' to mindfulness that instils power, peace, compassion, forgiveness and love within us. We will begin to illuminate true beauty that goes beyond the expectations that society places on us. When we share our authentic selves, we allow others to follow suit and find courage in their own vulnerabilities.
Let go of the old programming that holds you back, say 'yes' to mindfulness that instils power, peace, compassion, forgiveness and love within us. | Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Remember no part of you is your enemy. Once we know both our sides, good and bad, we have to practice radical self-acceptance. Only then can our true power shine from within ourselves. We are beautiful in our flaws and imperfections because it uniquely defines who we are and we should be proud of that!
(Article originally written by: Devina Kaur) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: embrace, body, insecurity, real, optimistic
Sorry and please are often described as 'magic' words simply because of the inherent power they possess to transform situations -- be it placating the recipient, strengthening a bond, or managing relationships. Effective communication emphatically talks about its frequent but genuine use to establish rapport apart from being polite and respectful. In that, 'sorry' holds a special significance for children as they navigate through their growing up years.
We often define these growing-up years as work in progress as children work out cause and effect, and understand that relationship management can be 'tricky' business. During these formative years, children deal with their family, school teachers, or friends and for that matter, even strangers. Perspectives, opinions, and misunderstandings pepper these years as a child matures and embraces social skills. Experience over a period of time is what enables children to regulate their emotions. Dangers of 'damage', a natural consequence of some of these misunderstood situations, can be mitigated if children are encouraged to make amends and move on.
The early years are dominated by the child's need to put himself/herself at the centre of every situation, often not realising that in doing so (this is a developmental milestone and will ease into maturity eventually), they could 'hurt' someone. And their need to resist apologising for their actions could largely be attributed to the fact that they are unable to fathom its severity and impact. For children, they are simply reacting and not intending to 'hurt' someone in a quest to protect themselves. They consider this an act of normalcy -- like snatching a toy that belongs to them, or pushing another child to get ahead, or jumping the line or speaking out of turn. Remember, their world is about them and hence it is important to educate children about feelings, appropriate behaviour, and how to build relationships.
Sorry and please are often described as 'magic' words - Pixabay pixabay.com
As children 'age', the primary years become grounds for more experiences, and children naturally evolve into being more aware of the consequences of their acts. And through regular communication by watching adults around them, they tend to use the word more often to 'mend' the situation. As social creatures, and quick to please, they recognise the need to 'adapt' and 'mould' themselves as per norms that are likely to receive praise or acknowledgement. In middle and high school years, the level of understanding about social interactions is purely the result of exposure and conditioning over the years, and therefore children ease into managing these relationships much better.
The key always remains the foundation, and the start, and consistent communication over the years with timely intervention to help students become the polite, sensitive, aware, and amicable adults we all aspire them to be. This requires efforts on part of those nurturing these students in school and at home as the 'seniors' who lead the way.
Fatema Agarkar, Educationist and Founder of ACE Some quick tips:
Role-model behaviour: Children are silent observers of everything they see around them, and the best way for them to 'learn' how to manage relationships and use the word sorry, is if they see enough examples of adults apologising. For example, in a fit of anger, if an adult has spoken rudely to the house help or a teacher to a fellow teacher, by apologising in public and explaining the rationale to the little ones, children understand the concept of a mistake, and that mistakes can be rectified through acts or actions in a way that builds a stronger bond. Hence, the importance of public display is critical for children to know that they can adopt a similar approach when faced with a similar situation.
Children are silent observers of everything they see around them. Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Cinema: Watching films that convey this message (lots of children films are about this) together with your children, and discussions after about what they understood and how the relationships became stronger because of the apologies is also a great way to communicate in a non-threatening way to the children. Often well-meaning adults tend to 'lecture' and children tune off given the plethora of instructions theyreceive daily, and these audio-visuals serve as an effective reminder of protocols to be adopted. Discussions post the film are important communication channels because it helps point out 'facts' that are important for them to know.
Watching films that convey a message together with your children is also a great way to communicate in a non-threatening way to the children. Pixabay
Books: Cannot emphasise how crucial this component is at any age -- great tools for expressing and role-modelling appropriate behaviour for children, and post a book reading, getting them to relate to situations that they have encountered is also a way to help them self-analyse.
Books are a great tool for expressing and role-modelling appropriate behaviour for children. Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Journals: Encourage children to 'write' about difficult situations, and how they reacted to it, and what were some of the consequences if they had said 'sorry' instead of furthering the problem! Reflection as a tool and exercise, especially in primary years, helps children 'think' back and analyse their choices. A true learning milestone if we have to raise well-balanced children. Children do tend to 'forget' things, and unless they think about writing them down, and discussing it with their parents, they will never learn the art of reflection. The adults again can guide, and mentor (without judgement) and ease the children into making amends by apologising. This forms a dialogue with them.
Encourage children to 'write' about difficult situations, and how they reacted to it, and what were some of the consequences if they had said 'sorry' instead of furthering the problem! Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash
Social media: There are lots of positive quotes, stories, and images on social media about relationships. Encourage children by sharing this with them especially how someone dealt with a particular situation and overcame it. It is motivational, positive, and gets them to think about 'solving' problems and for that matter, 'accepting' that everyone has them!
Encourage children by sharing positivity with them especially how someone dealt with a particular situation and overcame it. Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash
Rewards: Rewards do not have to be materialistic, but do use this liberally as words. Acknowledge, and praise when the children are using appropriate behaviour and mending ties! This is perhaps the most underutilised of all communication strategies -- as adults, the praise is reserved for performance academically or in co-curricular, and it is time, this gets incorporated for behaviour and skills that build relationships. Write your child an email, a letter, or create a card and let them know how proud you are of them.
Write your child an email, a letter, or create a card and let them know how proud you are of them. Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash
Beyond 'sorry', the crux of communication and mentoring students remains focused on building relationships. For that, the children need to accept that mistakes happen, and these mistakes can lead to feelings of anger, aggression, or trauma for those at the receiving end. But that these are the moments that can be salvaged, and lead to better experiences and closer bonds. Sometimes demonstrating this to them, standing by their side as they attempt to, or pointing it out to them when they have not noticed will go a long way in creating happier children!
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: sorry, kids, books, movies, letter, reward, journal, apology
There are a lot of discussions these days about the importance of self-love. It sounds good, but what does it mean to love oneself, and why does it matter? People strive to be flawless, and perfectionism is regarded as a more valuable quality or trait than self-love. Many people consider the idea of self-love to be an exaggerated philosophy, and they often underestimate its significance. But, self-love is essential for maintaining mental health and well-being and preventing depression and anxiety. When we engage in activities that promote our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth, we cultivate a sense of self-worth that makes us feel good about ourselves. When you love yourself, you have a good self-image.
To be in love with oneself means to have a significant concern for one's well-being. Self-love means prioritizing your own needs and not putting your well-being at risk to please others. It means refusing to accept anything less than what you deserve. Since we all have various ways to take care of ourselves, self-love may mean something different for each person. Not every day will be filled with feelings of self-confidence and self-worth, which would be impossible. It is critical to your mental health that you understand what self-love looks like for you as an individual.
"We are not plants that grow in sunshine and rain but we're humans who grow in happiness and pain."
–Mahyah Binti Idris
Let us begin to embark on the journey of loving ourselves by practicing these simple activities in our day-to-day life:
Saying Positive Things To Yourself: The way we talk to ourselves has a significant impact on how we live, our decisions, and our emotions, among other things. A negative conversation with oneself may negatively influence our mental and emotional well-being; therefore, we mustn't be too harsh on ourselves. You can try saying some of these phrases to yourself: "I am valuable," "I am unique," "I matter," "I deserve good things in life," and "I have a purpose."
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."
– Alexander Pope
The way we talk to ourselves has a significant impact on how we live, our decisions, and our emotions, among other things. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Asking For Help: How do individuals develop great companies without burning themselves out? How can we acquire new skills and grow as individuals? There is always someone who assists us, whether we are conscious of it or not. Asking for help is not selfishness; we always require support, and others need our support. If we want to grow in this world, we can't do it all on our own. Remember that "Sharing is caring," don't push everything inside, seek help and speak your heart out.
"Ask for help. Not because you are weak. But because you want to remain strong."
Don't push everything inside, seek help and speak your heart out. Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash
Forgiving: When it comes to forgiveness, each individual has ideas about what it means. In most cases, however, it includes deciding to let go of bitterness and revenge. Although the thoughts of the act or person that caused you pain may remain with you forever but understanding, empathy, and compassion for the person who has hurt you may emerge as a result of forgiving them. Forgiveness gives you peace, which allows you to go on with your life.
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
Forgiveness gives you peace, which allows you to go on with your life. Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
Accepting our imperfections: Self-acceptance is tough, especially when we compare ourselves to others and feel inferior to them. Nobody is without flaws, and we are all imperfect in one way or the other. Imperfections are a natural part of life, and it is okay to be flawed and not be in love with every aspect of oneself. Accept your imperfections and learn to accept them as a part of who you are. Speaking from personal experience, I wore braces for two years, and I had a hard time smiling during the first few months. However, to overcome this, I explored the brighter aspect of things and realized that after my braces are removed, I will look prettier while smiling. Keep in mind that imperfections are something that can be accepted. Bring more optimism into your life and learn to accept and love your imperfections.
"Once you realize that perfection is a myth, you become free."
– Samuel Zulu
Accept your imperfections and learn to accept them as a part of who you are. Wikimedia
Appreciating your efforts: You will no longer be concerned whether or not someone else appreciates your efforts when you learn to appreciate yourself. Getting other people's acceptance and praise is common. However, when you are pleased with yourself, the praise of others is more like a cherry on the cake rather than the cake itself. Recognizing and appreciating your efforts is the key to living a happy life.
"It's not about perfect. It's about effort."
– Jillian Michaels
Recognizing and appreciating your efforts is the key to living a happy life. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
It's normal to feel uncertain about self-love or making any change in your life. However, loving yourself does not imply that you must alter every aspect of your life. Strive to treat yourself better than you did yesterday. Take care of yourself! Not all of the storms you encounter are intended to destroy; sometimes, they are meant to clear our way. We may be tempted to give up, but these temptations are envious of our achievements, serenity, and peace of mind. We all grow at different rates, and it is okay.
Please share with your friends and family and let them know that you care for them.
Keywords: self-love, acceptance, flaws, positivity, imperfections, forgiveness, support
To achieve a well-balanced and a meaningful life one needs to have a positive psyche and do away with all the negativity within. It is a known fact that humans respond well to positive emotions and stay motivated under its influence. However, there various motivations affect the happiness of an individual differently. By enabling yourself to work with positive thoughts, you'll improve your your efficiency in life and be content with all you do. You can achieve this by making little changes in your lifestyle like:
Don't judge yourself- All of us are bound to have unhappy and -- negative thoughts -- throughout the day. As you become more aware of them you may feel embarrassed or ashamed about how many you have. However, you don't need to overthink as it is perfectly normal to have all sorts of strange thoughts. We can overcome it by thinking about the happy moments in life.
You don't need to overthink as it is perfectly normal to have all sorts of strange thoughts. Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash
Always focus on smiling- Force a smile on your face as you bring your happy thought to your mind. This will help erase the effects of the negative thoughts.
Force a smile on your face as you bring your happy thought to your mind. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Make most of the little moments- On adopting the positive psychology in life one can begin to find happiness all around. In fact, this is the very reason why we say that a way a mind thinks can change the world. Most of us big occasions rarely and occasionally in life, but its the little things like bringing home a new television or going out for a meal or just a little drive to the super mart with the family which should be enjoyed and cherished.
Its the little things like bringing home a new television or going out for a meal or just a little drive to the super mart with the family which should be enjoyed and cherished. Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash
Don't expect changes overnight- If you are one who has a negative outlook, don't anticipate overturning into an optimist overnight. However, with regular practice, eventually you will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you. The moment you begin feeling optimistic about yourself, you will feel the transformation about being able to handle everyday stress in a creative manner. The ability of positive thinking will eventually contribute towards health benefits, better handling of hardships and lower rates of depression.
The ability of positive thinking will eventually contribute towards health benefits, better handling of hardships and lower rates of depression. Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash
Repeat the process- Try and work towards positive thoughts and additionally engage in substituting your negative mindset with a positive one. The process will help do away with any stress or anxiety you are facing.
Try and work towards positive thoughts and additionally engage in substituting your negative mindset with a positive one. Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash
The optimistic will always see an opportunity in every difficulty however the pessimistic will always find a difficulty in every opportunity. Once you do away with the self-limiting beliefs you will observe a significant growth, one you could never experience without clinging to positive psychology. The optimism within you enables you to appreciate the little joys in life, aids you to grasp each day with a smile, be courteous to others and finding joy in others happiness as well.
(Article Originally written by: Anuja Kapur) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Happiness, support, positivity, mental health, psychology, joy, smile