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Tips for Battling Swimsuit Insecurities

For some, wearing a swimsuit in public can be intimidating. A psychologist offers some advice to help you feel more comfortable.

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CLEVELAND - If you’re feeling insecure about putting on a swimsuit this summer, you’re not alone, a lot of people worry about their appearance.

“Terms like ‘beach body’ and ‘bikini body’ perpetuate this myth that there is only one acceptable body type,” said Susan Albers, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic. “This can also trigger a lot of disordered eating and crash diets before the summer.”

Dr. Albers said social media doesn’t help either.

In the summer, our feeds are often filled with photos of people in swimsuits, and that can cause some to compare themselves to others.

To help combat those kinds of negative thoughts, she said it might be a good idea to take a break from social media, or only follow body positive accounts instead.

She also suggests taking part in activities and hobbies that bring you joy, then you’re not as focused on your appearance.

And finally, it’s important to be kind to yourself.

“Your body is listening to you. Speak to your body as if you are talking to a friend or a child. When you speak negatively to your body, it releases cortisol, the stress hormone in the body, and your body responds,” said Dr. Albers. “So being compassionate and talking to your body with positive words helps to boost your self-esteem and your body image.”

Dr. Albers reminds parents that kids are always listening, so if they hear you talking negatively about your body, they may start to do the same.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

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