Self-image issues can be a complex and multifaceted problem, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, there are some evidence-based strategies that can help adult women improve their self-image.
1. Practice self-compassion: Self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness, understanding, and support during times of difficulty or failure. Research has shown that self-compassion is associated with greater emotional resilience, lower levels of anxiety and depression, and improved body image (Neff, 2003). To learn more about self-compassion, you can refer to the works of Dr. Kristin Neff.
2. Focus on body functionality instead of appearance: Research has shown that focusing on body functionality, such as strength and health, rather than appearance, can lead to greater body satisfaction (Tylka & Wood-Barcalow, 2015).
3. Engage in positive self-talk: Positive self-talk involves using positive statements to counter negative self-talk. Research has shown that positive self-talk can improve self-esteem and body image (Mosewich, et al., 2013).
4. Surround yourself with positive role models: Being around positive role models can help to promote a healthy self-image. Research has shown that women who surround themselves with positive role models have higher levels of body appreciation (Homan, et al., 2012).
5. Seek professional help: If self-image issues are interfering with daily life, seeking help from a therapist or counselor can be beneficial. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in improving body image (Jarry & Ip, 2015).
Homan, K. J., et al. (2012). The role of social comparison in the effect of magazine advertisements on women's mood and body dissatisfaction. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31(5), 484-507.
Jarry, J. L., & Ip, K. Y. (2015). Cognitive-behavioral therapy and body image: A review of the literature. Body Image, 14, 1-10.
Mosewich, A. D., et al. (2013). Applying self-compassion in sport: An intervention with women athletes. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 35(5), 514-524.
Neff, K. D. (2003). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and identity, 2(2)
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