Body image is how we think and feel about our bodies. A healthy body image means you feel comfortable in your body and good about the way you look. Body image also includes how you behave because of your thoughts and feelings. Having a negative body image can put people at higher risk for depression, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and other mental and physical health problems, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. So, here are 20 body image boosts to consider…

  1. Focus on your positive qualities, skills and talents to help accept and appreciate your whole self
  2. Challenge beauty ideals and learn to accept your body
  3. Say positive things to yourself every day
  4. Avoid negative or berating self-talk about your body not being “right” – practice thought-stopping to reprogram the negative self-talk and replace old messages
  5. Focus on appreciating and respecting all that your body can do, rather than how it appears
  6. Set positive, health-focused goals rather than weight loss-related ones for overall well-being
  7. Avoid comparing yourself to others and remember that everyone is unique and differences are what make us special
  8. View media/social media images with a filter that recognizes they are edited for publishing purposes and are not reflections of reality
  9. Remind yourself that “true beauty” isn’t simply skin-deep
  10. Wear comfortable clothes that make you feel good about your body
  11. Do nice things for yourself!
  12. Use the time and energy you might have spent worrying about food, calories and weight to do something for others instead
  13. Avoid frequent “body checking” in the mirror
  14. Move and enjoy the pleasure your body feels when engaged in activities that make you feel strong, energized and peaceful
  15. Spend time with people who have healthy relationships with food, activity and their bodies
  16. Set a good example for others by refraining from “fat talk” – don’t put yourself or others down
  17. Nurture your inner self through activities that are relaxing, soothing, spiritual, stress-reducing and allow you to connect with others
  18. Explore ways to positively enhance your life and self-esteem that don’t depend on your appearance
  19. Broaden your perspective about health and beauty
  20. Recognize that size prejudice is a form of discrimination – and that assumptions that shape and size are indicators of character, morality, intelligence or success are incorrect and unjust

Sources: National Eating Disorders Collaboration,; National Eating Disorders Association,; UC Santa Cruz’s Student Outreach & Promotion,

You can find an entire workshop on Size and Body Image within our Campus Diversity Training Package, along with 19 other ready-to-use workshops!