The Ultimate Guide to a Healthy Selfie!

Do you know there’s an easy way to make your selfies healthy?.

Picture this…All it takes is a few minor adjustments and your selfie habit can contribute to lasting happiness and self-esteem.

My “healthy selfie” approach also 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.

Don’t worry. It’s not about snapping yourself in the organic produce section of the market, or sweating over dumbbells, or looking relaxed on vacation.

Your Health-Promoting, Selfie-Happy Lifestyle Begins Here

You must know right from the get-go that a healthy selfie is less about the actual shot you capture and more about the process you use to produce the selfie.

This process-focused approach rests at the center of Techealthiest’s mission. We hope to inspire the world to take a more mindful approach to how we relate to our gadgets. By developing an “observing self” within our personal digital world, we can make lifestyle adjustments needed to live healthier and happier.

If you take at least a few selfies a week, it’s urgent that you read this.

You might not realize it, but if your selfie habit is left unchecked over time, it can lead to unhealthy levels of perfectionism, excessive self-indulgence, inflated self-importance and a lot of good moments spoiled or interrupted.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The magic of practicing healthy selfies is that it repeatedly reinforces what’s important for inner balance, fulfillment and healthy self-esteem. 

All of your selfies don’t need to be healthy. Just some. I strive to create one healthy selfie for every three or four that I shoot.

So here’s how to do it…

6 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. The target goal would be one or two attempts to capture a solid selfie.

Why? Fewer shots keep your expectations reasonable. Think of someone you know who takes a gazillion selfies before an hour-long deliberation over which selfie to make public. I guarantee you that person has a disturbance in his or her self-image thats interferes with the enjoyment of simple pleasures in life.

Let’s break it down this way to make my point clearer…

More selfie attempts = more stress and anxiety = higher expectations for:

  • how perfect the selfie needs to be (it’s stressful and frustrating to invest a lot of time in capturing an idealized version of yourself on camera…it’s also inauthentic.)
  • how people are supposed to respond on social media with likes and comments (see below.)
  • how you’re supposed to look in real life (you become increasingly less accepting of every part of you that you don’t consider to be your best angle.)
  • how perfect your future selfies have to be in order to live up to the image you’ve established with the public

Higher selfie expectations = obsessive perfectionism = an unhealthy selfie. Click To Tweet

2. Don’t edit your selfie. Edit the part of yourself that’s trying to make your physical appearance or your life look perfect to others. (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.

Posting raw selfies promotes 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.

I know it’s unrealistic for most people to avoid editing selfies, even healthy ones, completely. So when you must manipulate your healthy selfie, either for art’s sake or another reason, the goal would be to follow the other five guidelines. Just make sure at least some of your healthy selfies represent the raw, unedited you.

If your tendency is to trick the world through deception and manipulation of your photos, your selfie-esteem will pay the price.

The problem is that selfie-deception is so tempting and satisfying. Try to resist the urge to trick the world into believing something about you. You are really only fooling yourself…for a few seconds.

Just because it’s so easy to manipulate your pictures doesn’t mean you should do it. Yes, it can be satisfying to meet whatever standard of perfection you hold your selfies to by altering them it to your liking. Just know that this manipulation is slowly eroding your self-esteem.

Selfie editing also feeds your perfectionistic side, which leads to an unhealthy belief that anything less than a flawless look is unacceptable.

The raw you can be fun to flaunt, especially if you develop a muscle for smashing your investment in people’s responses to your picture.

We all have flaws. Life becomes so much easier when you accept this fact and learn to celebrate all of your angles.

The more you edit your selfies, the less self-accepting you'll be in everyday life. Click To Tweet

3. Take risks with the camera, not with the location. (SELFIE-LOVE)

Unfortunately, the culture of taking dangerous selfies is growing. If dangerous selfies are your cup of tea, just know that for every person who marvels at your guts or strength, there are 100 people who view you as foolish and hungry for attention.

A healthy selfie has nothing to do with portraying courage with regard to the location of your photo. It’s about having the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and reveal your true self which includes all sides of you.

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. If your social media audience has something negative to say about these unique parts of you, then unfriend them.

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.

Stop repeatedly showing people the same angle because you think it’s your best angle. That’s boring and unhealthy.

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.

Embrace your true self by sharing selfies from all angles. Click To Tweet

4. Strive to reduce your investment in monitoring social media “likes.” (SELFIE-SUFFICIENCY) 

selfie, healthy, self-acceptance,Do you find yourself repeatedly checking 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. Find something small that you like about it and celebrate the selfie privately.

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.

A dependency on social media “likes” creates horribly stringent conditions for feeling validated by the world. You’ll rarely be satisfied with the amount of “likes” you will receive. Any benefit to your happiness that “likes” create is short-lived.

If you’re addicted to watching the number of likes grow, then cancel the app from your phone for the day. Make it hard for you to keep checking. Learn to look less at your Facebook or Instagram feed for the purpose of gauging the public’s reaction to your selfies.

If you can celebrate a healthy selfie irrespective of the number of likes you attract on social media, it’s equivalent to a googolplex of likes.

Too much focus on 'likes' outsources your self-worth. Click To Tweet

YOU are the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to how wonderful your selfie is.

5. Respect the power of a selfie to potentially ruin a perfect moment. (SELFIE-AWARENESS)

selfiesSnap your selfie to capture something meaningful as long as you’re committed to returning to the beauty of the moment once the selfie is taken.

Selfie-awareness comes from knowing how your selfies impact your experiences. Does pausing to take a selfie impact your attention and concentration? Is it hard to recapture the flow of a moment?

Develop a habit of taking a second to ponder whether an experience is truly worth interrupting for a selfie. If you’re sharing an experience, do you know your companion to be the type of person who becomes obsessed with getting the perfect selfie. Don’t take the selfie then, especially if the shared experience is making you happy. If your companion insists on taking a selfie, make them commit to a healthy selfie.

We must accept that some amazing experiences are not meant to be captured on camera, especially when you risk losing a potentially beautiful memory by getting carried away with selfies.

Let some precious moments be selfie-less! If you make a clear decision that a selfie can be captured without interrupting something special, then go for it.

Why? Because selfies have become so mindless that we often neglect the thought process that decides what’s best for us. Rather, we just act because we’re on autopilot.

A healthy selfie feels like a victory because you made a decision to preserve the moment by giving minimal importance or urgency to the picture. You snapped it and quickly merged back into the flow.

Some amazing moments are best left uninterrupted by a selfie. Click To Tweet

You might say that some of the healthiest selfies available to you are the ones you take with your eyes. These selfies become indelibly etched in your memory and have more impact on internal mental life. Memories are infinitely more powerful than selfies.

6. Set an intention before you snap your selfie or as you’re posting it on social media. (SELFIE-DIRECTION)

healthy selfieChallenge 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.

If you decide that posting a specific selfie is, in fact, an attempt to gain validation from others, then either question whether taking the picture is a good idea or call it what it is, post it and move on. Maybe you really do need an ego boost right now.

Just know that selfies posted for validation will do very little for your self-esteem. It’s the equivalent of a hit of a drug, a temporary fix that drains you of selfie-acceptance and selfie-love by outsourcing your selfie-worth.

No selfie will satisfy your need for validation longer than five seconds after you view the picture or the number of likes on social media.

How do you know if you’re taking the selfie primarily for validation? Pay attention to what inspires you to take the picture in the first place and what you imagine people will think when they see your selfie.

YOU have to make the ultimate decision about the greatness of your selfie.

For every selfie intended to prove something to your social media world, take a healthy selfie by creating an intention that is unattached to approval or the need to prove something, including the number of likes and comments you get.

Watch and see. 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.

Try setting one or more of the following intentions (or create another intention as long as it’s not about getting validation from others):

  • Snap a selfie for art’s sake. Develop your artistic side.
  • Snap a selfie to make other people smile or laugh. An intention of doing for others counteracts most negative elements of a selfie. Just don’t expect feedback.
  • Be clear when the selfie is for reminding you of a great experience or beautiful scenery.
  • Let the selfie be about bonding with someone who is also in the picture.
  • Tell yourself that you are taking a selfie for your personal collection, as opposed to for other people.
  • Decide ahead of time that you’re not posting a specific selfie on social media.

When you stumble upon an older healthy selfie in your phone or on social media, let the picture remind you that you’re invested in your health and happiness.

This is the true beauty and power of a healthy selfie.

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healthy, selfie, self-esteem, happiness, camera

This is my attempt to capture a healthy selfie.

BONUS: For a fun challenge, take a healthy selfie for each of the 12 categories of selfies mentioned in this great article (minus the duck face selfie which I’ll never understand or get used to…okay maybe include that one too.)

Adding healthy selfies to your picture-taking habits is adding a special thought process that nourishes your mental health needs. You don’t need to take healthy selfies all the time. That would be draining and take the fun out of certain spontaneous moments.

Just sometimes. Let the healthy selfie be on your radar and you’ll feel a difference.

Now try taking your healthy selfie…and remember…only a one or two shots at once, no editing, make them raw and take risks with the angle, forget about the likes, and don’t ruin a beautiful moment with too much attention to taking a selfie. Good luck!!!!

Healthy selfies are a fun and easy investment in your happiness and self-esteem. Click To Tweet