I’m going to teach you how to make your selfies healthier.
This post is an updated and re-conceptualized version of a much longer guide to taking healthy selfies called “How to Take a Healthy Selfie“.
What will you get out of this tutorial? At minimum, a drop in uncomfortable perfectionism around the way you look. At maximum, lasting happiness and increased self-esteem in your digital world and beyond, especially if you take a ton of selfies.
My “healthy selfie” approach essentially removes much of the negative effects of a selfie-happy lifestyle.
My wife and I practice taking healthy selfies whenever possible and let me tell you, it DOES make a difference.
5 Tips for Capturing a Healthy Selfie
1. Avoid extended photo shoots. (SELFIE-CONTROL)
Selfie-control is accomplished by practicing moderation in your behavior and expectations.
How do we do this? Limit the number of selfie attempts to between one and four. Avoid the photo burst function on your phone.
Why? Fewer shots keep your expectations reasonable.
2. Don’t edit your selfie. Edit the part of yourself that edits. (SELFIE-ACCEPTANCE)
To maximize selfie-acceptance, most healthy selfies shouldn’t be manipulated. Post a raw shot of you and your surroundings. Stop yourself from adding light filters, clarity adjustments or blemish removal. Keep all imperfections in place.
Raw selfies promote selfie-acceptance and authenticity by closing the gap between how you want the world to see you and the beautifully flawed person you really are.
Selfie editing also feeds your perfectionistic side, which leads to an unhealthy belief that anything less than a flawless look is unacceptable.
3. Show the world other sides of you beyond your best angle. (SELFIE-LOVE)
Go ahead, forget your most flattering angle. Show your worst angle because you have no worst angle. All angles rock. Birthmarks and blemishes are awesome. They are a part of you and they must be embraced.
Let your selfie-love shine through by posting a selfie that celebrates your uniqueness. To capture your unique stamp on camera, you must embrace the idea that striving to accept your flaws makes you perfect.
You might be able to trick the world into thinking you’re perfect by only showing your best angle, but you’re doing yourself a major disservice. You’re creating a lie that you’ll feel pressure to maintain.
Show some SELFIE-LOVE to the imperfect being that you are. Remember this…imperfect is perfect.
4. Strive to reduce your investment in monitoring social media “likes.” (SELFIE-SUFFICIENCY)
Do you repeatedly check for new “likes” when you post a selfie on Facebook or Instagram?
If you’re too dependent on likes for validation, it’s time to break that association. Even if not a single person likes or comments on your selfie, you need to celebrate your photo.
Strive for selfie-sufficiency so that the conditions for feeling pleased with your selfie are fully determined by you and only you. The higher your expectations are for how the world is supposed to respond to your selfie, the more unhappy you will feel.
Any benefit to your happiness that “likes” create is short-lived.
YOU are the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to how wonderful your selfie is.
Don’t outsource your self-worth to random, weak digital connections.
5. Set an intention before you snap your selfie. (SELFIE-DIRECTION)
Challenge yourself to declare the intention behind taking or posting a selfie. This is a tall task because you have to pause for a moment and be honest with yourself as to why you’re taking the selfie. This adds uncomfortable thoughts to a hedonistic process, but if you can pause and think at least some of the time, you will begin to feel more in control and less needy for outside validation.
The simple act of setting an intention will help to you focus less on validation from others. This helps to make the selfie-taking process more conscious, and therefore more healthy.
Now try taking your healthy selfie…and remember…only one or two shots and let it go. Snap and post. No editing, Make them raw and take risks with the angle. Forget about the likes. And one more note: Avoid ruining the flow of a beautiful moment with too much attention to taking a selfie.