Working Out Improves One’s Self-Esteem

The typical picture of a college student is a person who sits around all day and does nothing but their homework and watch Netflix (or something like that). Now, I know this is not true for everyone, but I know that I fit into this picture every once in a while when I am stressed with school and everything that life throws at me.

By finding a little sliver of motivation to pause your favorite show and go to the gym, you can increase your self-esteem, which includes looking good, feeling strong, and having a positive attitude.

When I go to the gym I only think about the different things that I can do to improve my body and health. I never really thought about the gym as a way to help my mental health, until now.

I found this article from Live Strong that explained why exercise is a good thing when it comes to one’s self-esteem.

 

When you’re at the gym, cardio isn’t the only thing that you can do to help boost your mood. According to this article, you can also strength train.

I know what you’re thinking.

Lifting weights? How is that suppose to make me feel positive?

But it will! Not only will lifting weights help strengthen your body, but it also helps you shed fat and tone up.

I came across a Livestrong article that showed some positive things that can result from weight-lifting. Your confidence and self-esteem will improve each time that you lift weights. Most of us (at least I know that I was) lack in our confidence when it comes to our body image and lifting weights can help change our physical appearance (that’s a plus!).

According to this online article, “When middle-aged women participated in a strength-training program twice a week for 12 weeks they reported having a better attitude about their physical self, felt happier and healthier.”

Becoming leaner isn’t the only thing that can result from weight-lifting. I found an article that explains the emotional benefits that can occur from weightlifting, as well.

The Livestrong article talked about how endorphins are released from the brain and how this chemical can create a feeling of happiness. This chemical is usually released when a person is weightlifting because our bodies think that this type of a workout is a stressful event and that we lift weights to relieve this stress. Once the workout is done, it is said that you will feel happier because of the endorphins that were released during the workout.

I never thought that weight-lifting would be something that I might consider doing, but now that I know the benefits of lifting weights I think that I might try it out.

I always find myself working out in an attempt to lose weight or to reduce my stress (because let’s face it, college is stressful), but I’ve realized that losing weight isn’t going to help me get a positive body image. Being strong is.

By lifting weights, people can be stronger and help their body unleash it’s full potential (because a strong body is a healthy body).

Everyone can have a positive body image for themselves, it’s just up to them on how they do it. Will it be weight-training? Who knows!

 

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Do We Represent or Present?

When I first heard this question, I really had to think of an answer. I really didn’t know the difference between representation or presentation when it came to a person. After reading Jill Walker Rettberg’s article it really opened my eyes on how people use social media and how they portray themselves in the process. Below are definitions of representation and presentation as used in this article.

Rettberg defines representation as:

An object, a sign that is seen as constructed in some way, and that stands instead of an object to which it refers.

Things can be represented by sounds, word, images, and objects. Rettberg also brought up Stuart Hall’s book Representation, describing that people believe that representation can only be of three things: reflective, intentional and constructive. These representations can be also be interpreted differently depending on what platform they are posted on. An example of this could be if a picture posted privately to a social media account or if a picture was posted on a public platform like a newspaper.

Rettberg also went on to say that every representation has connotations linked to it, that is, ideas or meanings that are laced within certain aspects of a picture.

Rettberg also defined presentation as:

An act, something a person does … Allows us to analyse the way that the person acts to present themselves.

I also looked at this Huffington Post article and it got me thinking of how these terms play a role in how individuals use social media. This article talked about how people want to portray their ideal self instead of how they actually are. I think that this could potentially be accurate because I know that I don’t portray all of my characteristics online and I usually only highlight a few characteristics that I like. Specifically, the article went on to say that one’s actual self is their actual characteristics and that one’s ideal self is what a person feels that the should be.

I know for me, that I tend to sugar-coat my life when it comes to posting online, especially when it’s posted publicly. I have noticed that when I post onto places like Facebook, where I stay connected with my friends and family, that I am more open to posting different things about my life that maybe I’m not super happy about.

Now, looking at social media more closely (particularly at blogs) I have noticed that I’m more open in terms of my tone and different things that I talk about that I wouldn’t usually on other social media platforms like Facebook.

Personally, I think that I present myself on my blog, rather than represent myself. When most people see me they think that I’m quiet and shy, but online I represent myself as a talkative person that could joke with strangers. Now truthfully, I am talkative (people who know me know I don’t shut up) but having a blog to express myself and my identity has helped me show that side of my self more than I would have on other cases or in real life.

I don’t change who I am on social media. Sometimes I don’t talk about things that I don’t want to share to the world. Sometimes I find it easier to express how I really act and talk in my blogs.

What about you? Does social media change how you portray yourself?