Have you ever asked yourself how much time do you spend looking at the mirror? According to the TODAY/AOL Ideal to Real Body Image Survey (2014), Americans spend around 55 minutes per day looking at their reflection, which amounts for 2 weeks a year!

The latter, which may seem mere vanity, hides a terrible truth. As reported by this study, 60% of young women and 36% of men are not satisfied with their mirrored image. These figures are even more alarming when we learn that 78% of our teenagers are obsessed with fulfilling the beauty standards put on by showbiz magazines and the T.V.

On the other hand, a study from King’s College London (2011), reveals that spending 10 uninterrupted minutes in front of a mirror makes us feel anxious, which makes us look at ourselves negatively and look for “imperfections”. This is also known as the “mirror syndrome”, and can lead us – in extreme cases – to eating disorders and emotional imbalances such as depression.

Fortunately, gazing at the mirror reveals not only our dark side, but it’s also a token of our self-love as we take care of our appearance. What really matters is not to get obsessed with our image and not to harm ourselves physically or emotionally just to fulfill any standard.

Here are some pieces of advice so the next time you look at the mirror, you may have a positive attitude towards your reflection.

Facing Yourself in the Mirror

  • First of all, do not compare yourself with anybody. The media is always bombarding us with images – mostly photoshopped – representing quite unreal beauty standards.
  • Make a list of the 10 things you admire the most of yourself. Hang it right beside the mirror and update it at least once a month with new things that make you proud. In such way, every time you look at the mirror you’ll remember you’re worthy for several more things than just your looks.
  • Once you’re more acquainted with your positive side, you’re ready to acknowledge your imperfections. Remember that EVERYBODY has imperfections and they don’t make us less valuable; imperfections just give us the opportunity to realize that we can always better ourselves.
  • Most of what we call “imperfections” can very well be corrected or obviated easier than you think. For instance, if you have some extra pounds, you can search for a professional that can help you lose weight in a healthy way.
  • Believe it or not, having enough sleep (between 6 and 8 hours a day) with a fixed sleep schedule, as well as eating a balanced diet, and practicing any physical or leisure activity that makes you happy will help you feel a whole much better. This will be reflected – literally – in front of the mirror.

The next time you look at yourself in the mirror, remember: what really matters is that it will reflect the image of a person mental and physically healthy. We would all like to change one or two things from our appearance, but if we do it, it should be with the purpose of becoming happier, healthier, and more active people.

Remember that real changes come from the inside and begin with your determination. In future blogs, we’ll show you some ways in which you can make changes in a positive and healthy manner. What are you waiting for! #DecideItNow.