There are three constants in life: Death, taxes, and the fact that scrolling through Insta and seeing people with ultra-toned bodies going on #wanderlust #travelgoals trips will def make you feel like sh*t. (No matter how awesome you are.)
And that's not just me being salty: Research actually shows that the more time people spend on Facebook, the lower their self-esteem. You know it's true.
But instead of just deleting all your social media accounts (where else would you find animal memes?), try these tactics next time you find yourself double-tapping your way into a doom spiral:
1. List all the cool sh*t your body has helped you do.
Instead of looking in the mirror and thinking about what you don’t like about your body, mentally acknowledge all that your body can do, says Amy Flowers, Ph.D., a spokesperson for the American Psychological Association. Think: Popping out a baby, running a race, or even just pooping on a regular basis. “We’ve made our body such an enemy, but we should view it as a friend,” says Flowers.
2. Talk about your butt.
Or your boobs. Or your hair. Make sure you're also focusing on the things that you love about yourself, says Robyn Silverman, Ph.D., body image expert and author of Good Girls Don't Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls. "Some people look at themselves in the mirror and say horrible things. If they're saying it out loud, then they're hearing that—they're underscoring the problem."
Pick a body part that you love and talk out loud about it. Yeah, yeah, it might seem silly at first, but it can a powerful tool in fighting body image issues.
3. Make a Google doc of all your wins.
No, this is not narcissism. Seriously. When you're dealing with low self-esteem and body image issues, it can be hard to remember the good things about yourself.
Enter the "victory file": Every time you receive a compliment or you accomplish something you’re proud of (promotion, new PR at the gym, you name it), write it down and stash it in a file at your desk or at home, suggests Flowers.
Regularly review that file for an instant pick-me-up. “It’s evidence of love and evidence of achievement,” she says. No matter how small, as long as it makes you feel good, file it.
4. Adopt affirmations—yes, really.
Yep, more talking to yourself in the mirror. But seriously, it works. Flowers recommends finding a positive affirmation or two to repeat to yourself every day to remind yourself of how amazing you are. Her favourite:
I can do anything I set my mind to.
Repeat it to yourself until you feel like a confidence ninja. Over time (and especially if you write them down), these affirmations will become your actual belief system.
5. Do nice stuff.
Volunteering and other kinds of charity work are an easy way to feel good about yourself, even if you’re just donating a few minutes or hours of your time. You contribute positively to your community, you might develop new skills, and you’ll likely receive good feedback, which will translate into positivity and an uplifted mood, Flowers says.
6. Talk to yourself like a true BFF.
You know how Leslie Knope constantly showers her BFF Anne Perkins with over-the-top compliments in practically every episode of Parks and Rec? Yeah—you should be doing that for yourself.
If you catch yourself calling yourself stupid, or hating on your reflection in the mirror, ask yourself: Would I say this to my best friend, or my sister, or my mom? "If you cannot imagine another human being who you love saying this to themselves or someone else talking to them that way, then how are you talking to yourself in that manner?" Silverman says.
7. Fake it 'til you make it.
Even if you’re not feeling particularly good about yourself, practice a few tactics that will project confidence to others, Flowers suggests. That includes making eye contact, smiling, giving a firm handshake, communicating clearly sans filler words, sitting up straight, and even accepting compliments.
“Even if you’re not feeling confident, you want others to believe you are,” Flowers explains. “People will respond positively to you in the situation, and then you will feel positive, too.”
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.