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This article was written by Courtney Campbell.

For the majority of my adolescence, I struggled deeply with body image and self-confidence. After graduating from high school, I encountered some detours in life and spent a lot of time rebuilding myself to live a better, happier life. At the core of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a positive perception of my own value as a person. I’ve adopted the following nine habits and they have truly changed my life. I suggest you give one a try!

Every time you take a look in the mirror, smile. 

This one is so simple. It releases endorphins!

Find gratitude in small things

Learning to appreciate the little victories was a huge game-changer for me. SCIENCE shows that gratitude increases resiliency and improves overall satisfaction in life. While journaling, I often make note of things I am grateful for, regardless of how “significant” they are.

Make a hype-up playlist

Sometimes you just have to blast an empowering playlist! Some recommendations: “Love Myself” by Olivia O’Brien, “Good as Hell” by Lizzo, and “Confident” by Demi Lovato.

Create an uplifting photo album in your camera roll

This could look a number of ways. Think of things that make you feel good: your bomb selfies, pictures with people you love, happy images, etc.

Practice compassion and kindness

Chances are that nearly everyone you encounter struggles with self-image in one way or another. I love giving compliments to other people because seeing their smile makes me smile. Then we both feel good!

Limit social media

One of the best things I have ever done for myself is curate and limit my social media usage. I’ve felt inferior to others on countless occasions based on a social media post. I set boundaries by only following people I am friends with, family, and influencer accounts that promote positivity and wellness. Some apps I’ve even eliminated altogether (sorry Facebook and Twitter).

Let go of toxic relationships

As difficult as this is, there’s a sense of relief when you finally break ties with a person who constantly wears down your happiness and self-image. Remember that your energy is currency; it shouldn’t be spent on people who don’t deserve it.

Challenge negative thinking

We all fall victim to thinking traps, whether that be about self-image or other stressors. Sometimes we just have to take a step back and confront those thoughts. Look at the evidence – is there any concrete truth to this idea?

Write a list of achievements or things you are proud of

This isn’t necessarily a daily habit but can lift you up when you’re having a particularly rough day. Reflecting on your own accomplishments and reminding yourself how strong you are is always a good mood booster.

Courtney Campbell is a student at Clark University, with plans to either major in Community, Youth, and Education Studies or Political Science while minoring in Spanish. She hopes to attend law school one day to work at the intersection of law and education. She loves listening to and making music with friends either through a cappella or jam sessions. She is an avid lover of guacamole (homemade, of course), dogs, and thrift shopping.
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