Positive Body Image Inspiration

Too long have we been told by the media that our bodies are not right, they aren't beautiful and they aren't aesthetically pleasing, this is a big middle finger to body shame.

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Sanative Magazine’s 50 alternatives to self harm ordered by mood.

It is important in many peoples recovery journey to have a management plan when working through self harm. People can experience a wide variety of moods when the urge to self harm arises, although this list only deals with a few moods I hope that it is comprehensive and you will be able to understand that if you are feeling jealous you may like to try out the sad suggestions (if you are feeling particularly down), or the angry ones (if you are feeling particularly riled up and filled with frustrated energy).

It is good to have a few ideas that you would be willing to try in mind before the urge becomes too much to bare. Different emotional states often respond best to emotion specific responses, which is why lists like these can help. Keep any ideas that you are drawn to written down and try them next time you are feeling as if you want to self harm. These distraction and self soothing lists will be in constant revision as you find out what works for you (some things won’t work, and often nothing will work 100% of the time, but it is important to keep working at it.)

As with any mental health concern I recommend getting the assistance of a professional to work alongside you in this journey.

Here are a list of some distractions & self soothing ideas based on mood. Some of these activities could overlap into another mood, so don’t feel like they’re set in stone - use whatever you think would be helpful!

1. Cry it out.
2. Watch a ridiculous comedy. 
3. Take a warm shower
4. Listen to inspiring, upbeat music.
5. Spend time with a pet.
6. Organise your room
7. Phone a friend or even visit them
8. Read a trashy magazine
9. Make a list of quotes and lyrics that inspire you
10. Make a list of places you’d like to visit, or things you’d like to do within your lifetime.
11. Write how you’re feeling in a journal
12. Go for a long and peaceful walk
13. Bake or cook a favourite dish
14. Go to the movie theatre and watch the next movie that comes on (of course attempting to ensure that it will be trigger free)
15. Watch silly daytime television.
16. Play a video game or a board game.
17. Write letters to your best friends and send them if you wish to.
18. Start drawing, or a create a collage of how you’re feeling - don’t worry about how it looks, no one has to see it.
19. Cuddle a soft toy

20. Place a blanket in the dryer and wrap it around yourself
21. Make a cup of tea/coffee and attempt to focus mindfully on your actions whilst preparing and drinking the tea.
22. Look up and learn breathing techniques and mindfulness strategies, if you see a health professional try talking to them about these strategies and work out a plan of how to practice these techniques so that you’ll eventually be able to successfully use them when your urges seem unmanageable.
23. Run yourself a warm bath and fill it with aromatherapy oils.
24. Count by 9’s
25. Paint your nails
26. Colour in a mandala
27. If you are religious, pray or meditate.
28. Take photographs of something that catches your eye. Upload it somewhere like Instagram.
29. Collect a list of silly websites! For example
30. Look up funny cats and dogs on Youtube. Trust me. It’s endless and brilliant.
31. Fill in a CBT ABC worksheet or something similar. You can ask your therapist for something of the sort. Here is a good resource, it contains thought records as well. You can even draw up your own as these are arguably not the most aesthetically pleasing worksheets.
32. Watch a candle burn.
33. Fingerpaint

34. Dance to ridiculous music
35. Scream out to music that expresses how you feel
36. Scream into a pillow
37. Punch a pile of pillows 
38. Invest in a punching bag. Punch the absolute shit out of it.
39. Write a letter to someone you’re mad - swear at them, scream at them, get it ALL out, and and tear it up
40. Eat a lemon, sour loly, a chili - anything that will focus on your senses without hurting you.
41. Hold ice cubes in your hand, rub them under your knees, on the heels of your feet.
42. Watch a film that makes you laugh.
43. Take your dog for a walk
44. Wash the dishes
45. Go for a run/sprint
46. Write your thoughts on your body in red pen.
47. Hit soft toys/pillow against the wall repetitively.
48. Have a cold shower. With your clothes on if need be. If you get out of the shower and your urges/anger comes back, get in the shower again.


50. Remember that not every distraction will work and it is still important to consider why you are self harming to begin with. According to DBT therapy distractions are not a CURE for self harm, rather they are a technique to be used whilst the urges are too severe to work on. Aftere the urge has subsided it is important to SPEAK TO SOMEONE about how you are feeling. It is 34239534973657864% recommended that you find a health professional you trust to talk through these things with.

I repeat: NOT EVERY DISTRACTION WILL WORK. And those that do may not help every time. A slip up, or a 100, do not make you a “failure” of recovery. The fact that you are actively trying to get help and find other ways of coping is AMAZING. Try (and try and try) not to be hard on yourself!It is important in many peoples recovery journey to have a management plan when working through self harm.
It is good to have a few ideas that you would be willing to try in mind before the urge becomes too much to bare. Keep these ideas written down and try them next time you are feeling as if you want to self harm. These distraction and self soothing lists will be in constant revision as you find out what works for you.
As with any mental health concern I recommend getting the assistance of a professional to work alongside you in this journey.

(via perfectionisttendencies)

Asker Anonymous Asks:
I have always struggled with self esteem issues. I don't like my body and am very self conscious about it. Recently, I began self-harming because I felt as if I had to punish myself for my flaws. I know that I can't keep cutting myself, but I can't stop. It's addictive. Also, even though this is sick, I like the cutting. Half of me wants to keep cutting and self loathing and to be beautiful and perfect. But I know I can't go on like this. I need to stop cutting and hating myself. I need help.
positivebodyimageinspiration positivebodyimageinspiration Said:

Before I go any further, you already understand that you need help, so I urge you to seek it. Contact your GP or even a youth centre or counseling service. You really do need medical help, so please, I’m begging you, get the help you need.

As a reformed self harmer, myself, I totally understand the addiction behind the cutting and how damn difficult it is to stop once you start.
When you hurt yourself, you release endorphins. Which give you a temporary ‘high’ if you will, it makes you feel good.
But there are other ways of feeling good, like going for a walk. This too, releases endorphins.

A form of therapy that I was suggested, was to put a BLUNT butter knife if the freezer until it got nice and cold, then, if I felt the urge to hurt myself, I’d use the cold butter knife.
It wouldn’t cut though, but it would give the feeling, and sometimes that is enough.

Something you should do though is to throw away all of the things you are using to hurt yourself. Remember to wrap them up first or put them in a safe sharps disposal container.
This simple act will make you feel better and it will show you that you are stronger than your self harm.
Your will power is a huge player here, too.
Every time you feel the urge to cut, I want you to do something else, like take that walk  I mentioned earlier. Cuddle your pet, or a loved one, take a drive, read a good book or throw on some happy music and dance yourself silly around the house.
Anything to keep your mind off cutting.

These are all helpful, but the point is that you get some help, lovely.
This is no way to live and you don’t need to punish yourself for anything.
You are a remarkable and amazing human. You have so much to give to the world and you are so incredibly loved by those around you.
It’s okay to be self conscious, but don’t let it rule your world.
You have to rule your world. Not your self harm, nor your negative self esteem. You. You as a whole.
Take control and slay your demons. You don’t need them. You don’t need a blade.
You need to love yourself and accept and respect who you are.

You are a beautiful creature, Anon.
Remember that.
And please, love yourself enough to get the help you need.

Please take care and stay strong.


Asker Anonymous Asks:
Lately I've been so insecure that letting my boyfriend (we live together) touch me is upsetting. I'm afraid that my own issues are tearing us apart physically, which will lead to us ending. I don't know what to do. I love your blog btw, so beautiful.
positivebodyimageinspiration positivebodyimageinspiration Said:

Thank you, sweetling :) You’re very kind.

I know I say this to a lot of my followers - but talking helps.
It really does.
You will need to speak with him about this, because it does concern him and I’m certain that he would be upset to know that you’re hurting.
Just sit down and have a casual chat to him about how you’re feeling. Chances are, you might just need some alone time, so maybe on a weekend, you can have a few days to yourself and so can he, or something to that effect.
Living with your partner is a big deal, and it can take some getting used to, but if you feel like you can’t talk to him about this sort of thing, that will be a big negative for your relationship.
I trust that you’re happy with him and that you love him?
That’s even more of a reason for you to talk about these issues with him.
I’m certain he will care and that he’d want to talk about it with you, rather than you keeping it bottled up inside you.

Just talk to him, lovely. Let him know how you feel and together, you can work through it :)

You can do it <3


I am a plus-sized 17 year old. Sometimes when I look in the mirror. I feel disgusted and I criticise myself and my body. What do I do to increase my self-confidence?
positivebodyimageinspiration positivebodyimageinspiration Said:

Stop looking in the mirror :)

Sometimes that’s unavoidable, but what you first need to do is remove negative words like ‘disgusting’ from your vocabulary when speaking about your body.
Every time you look at yourself and feel a negative word creeping up, push it away with a positive one.
You do not look disgusting. You look amazing and healthy :)
It’s that easy!
Remind yourself daily that you are beautifully unique human being.
Jump out of bed in the morning and give yourself a big smile and a compliment.
Face your days with a smile and positivity and you will shine.
Your confidence will grow as you help yourself to love who you are inside and out.
And you deserve that love, so don’t deny it to yourself!!

Good Luck <3


Asker Anonymous Asks:
My girlfriend is rather self-conscious about her weight and she tends to bring it up in conversation often and accompanies it with self-deprecating comments. I'm a relatively thin and athletic girl and she's honestly not that overweight but I'm struggling to find good and healthy ways to help her with her body positivity when I'm not struggling with my own weight. I think she's beautiful and gorgeous and I want her to see that too... I was wondering if you had any advice for me?
positivebodyimageinspiration positivebodyimageinspiration Said:

I think you and your girlfriend need to sit down and have a discussion about this.
Ask her why she so constantly puts herself down. Mention to her, that when she puts herself down that it hurts you as well, and let her know that you struggle with certain things too.
She obviously knows you love her, but sometimes us girls say things to get some closure.
I doubt very much that if she were to put herself down, that you would agree with her, because you love her and you think she’s beautiful.
But she might making sure, for lack of a better term.
Making sure that you still think she’s beautiful.

Explain to her that the more she says nasty things about herself, the less likely she is to become positive about herself.
I actually just had a neat idea.
You could write her some cute little post it notes and put them in places she would find them every day (this can work for your own body image too :) )
Write sweet, positive and uplifting things on little notes and pop one in her purse, her handbag, in her car and on her pillow, maybe the bedside table or even on the fridge.
Just kind little reminders that to you, she is amazing and beautiful and that you love her.
Sometimes all we need is that little bit of clarity to make us feel better.

But do ask her what it is that makes her feel the way she does. When you know that, you can work on that together.
But make sure she is open to becoming more positive within herself, remind her, that if she doesn’t want it truly, it isn’t likely to happen as it should. She needs to put effort in and want to be happy and positive within herself :)

Please let me know how you guys go :)


Asker Anonymous Asks:
So I've been obsessed with a girl for nearly two years now. We are pretty good friends, I think. We take a college class together and are going to Europe together. Anyways lately I've been somewhat depressed because I never feel worthy of her. She is much more physically attractive than I am and my self consciousness constantly stops me from either making a move or doing anything to fix the way I look. I want to be in her life more and more. Have any advice in what I should do?
positivebodyimageinspiration positivebodyimageinspiration Said:

I think “captivated” sounds like a better word than obsessed :)

No one is ‘more physically attractive’ than anyone else. We are all different and we are all beautiful.
Trust me, you are worthy of her, even if you feel you aren’t. This girl is not above you in anyway, you are both equals.
You need to remember that she is just like you, she isn’t out of your league.
She is a human being, just like you :)

It does take some guts to ask someone out, but if you hold yourself in the same regard as you hold her, you will feel better.
Allow yourself to have the confidence you seek. Look at yourself and give yourself a compliment.
In order to love someone, you must love yourself first, so give yourself over to loving yourself.

I think you need a bit of courage as well, it is scary, and we all fear rejection.
But if, in the event, that she isn’t interested in more than a friendship, at least you still have her as your friend, don’t you?
And she’s still in your life :)

Give it a try, if you’re already good friends, that should make it easier for you to ask her out on a date or something :)

Best of luck!


Asker Anonymous Asks:
I've eaten 2 kiwi fruits and 3 tablespoons of yogurt for breakfast and then 3 party pies for lunch, it's only 2:12pm and I'm getting anxious about dinner. Apparently I have symptoms of an ED but I haven't been diagnosed. I've binged in the past and starved myself, I'm battling depression but seem to be on top of it because I can be happy, am more positive and no longer self harm. However now I don't want to eat, I feel pretty good about my body but my parents think I'm getting too thin.
positivebodyimageinspiration positivebodyimageinspiration Said:

Firstly, I’m so proud of you for no longer self harming! That’s so awesome and you really should be proud of yourself for accomplishing that!

Now, as for the part about exhibiting symptoms of ED…
Please, get yourself to a GP. If you don’t want to eat and you think you might have the early signs of an eating disorder, please, please, seek medical attention.
I’m glad that you feel good about your body, but feeling good about your body also means you need to take care of yourself and that means ensuring that you don’t slip into an eating disorder trap.
That is not something you want.
It’s kind of another version of self harm, and you should really try and nip it in the bud before it truly takes hold and takes over your life.

So please lovely, go and speak to your doctor about this.
It could save your life.

Stay strong.


Asker Anonymous Asks:
I have never loved my body. For 12 years I was bullied for my weight, and that has stuck with me. I can't get past it. No matter how much things seem to change, that past is always there. A part of me feels like I will never be truly happy or beautiful unless I'm thin. I feel like no man will ever want me unless I'm thin. I'm not happy with how I look now but between school and managing my mental health my physical health was more of a make do. I love body positivity, I just wish I could be.
positivebodyimageinspiration positivebodyimageinspiration Said:

Lovely, stop wishing and start doing.
No one ever said the path to self acceptance was easy, it’s far from it. Loving your body means undoing years of torment and bullying, both from yourself and others and it is a practice that can take quite some time, but so long as you start the journey, you will be making progress.
So please, I beg you, take that step.
Undoing those years of negativity will take some work, but take a step back and look at all of the amazing things your body has done and can do for you.
You have strong legs and arms, you have a beating heart and working internal organs.
Your body is more than what you see, so much more. And you are so much more than what you think of yourself.

Everyday that you have doubt in yourself and deny yourself love and respect, you are strengthening those bullies in your past, the memory of them remains because they made you feel so badly about yourself, so I say it’s time to do something that those bullies would hate - start loving yourself.
Don’t let these past experiences hold you back and don’t give those awful people the satisfaction of knowing their cruel words still haunt you to this day, no, you are so much better than that and you deserve so much more!
Most importantly though, do it for you.
You don’t want to spend the rest of your life at war with yourself. Life is far too short and too precious to worry about how others see you.

Now, men like what they like.
Some prefer thin ladies, some prefer bigger ladies, some like both, some like other men. All men are different and they are all attracted to different things.
Don’t you dare think, for one minute, that you are not worthy of the love of another human being because of your size. Everyone deserves love. Every single person. And if no one has the right to tell you that you haven’t the right to be loved because of your body, that’s garbage.
We are human and being loved is something that we all need and all deserve.

I have a quick suggestion that will help both your mental and physical health too - take a walk :)
Once a day, for about half an hour a day, then you can gradually go for longer.
But walking is great, any exercise is. It releases endorphins and helps you to feel good and happy. Even if you do some star-jumps or dance around the house!
Get your body moving and you will see how quickly you start to feel better :)

Being smaller than you are doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be happier.
It may, but you need to fix how you think first.
If you aren’t happy with yourself now, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be happy if you get smaller. Love yourself now, and you will love yourself always.
Self love is inclusive of everyone, no matter their size, shape, gender, sexual preference, race, everyone.
So please, leap into loving your body.
Believe me, it’ll be the best thing you’ll ever do :)


I’m so terribly sorry for the delay, and I apologise sincerely to those of you who sent in asks.
I’m about to answer some now :) I’ll try and get through them all, but if yours doesn’t come up, I haven’t forgotten, I’ll get to it :)

I hope you’re all doing well!

Take care,

This is my contribution to the 2014 summer body. I feel fab, and I encourage all of you to feel the same. <3