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discovering_sarah discovering_sarah

199 posts   17520 followers   521 followings

Sarah  Sarah's journey to happiness 🌻 Self-Love Advocate 💞 ED survivor 💪

There is a clear difference between how my body looks in these two photos.
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In the top photo I am posing in a way to make my body look smaller.
I’m lying flat which causes gravity to push my weight down.
I’m breathing in which makes my stomach flatter and my ribs and hip bones more visible.
My legs are apart giving them the illusion of a thigh gap.
I’ve done this pose countless times over the years and I’ve seen it, or one very similar, done in the media and on social media even more times.
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In the bottom photo I am perched up relaxed.
As you can see my body looks much bigger.
My stomach looks bigger.
My visible bones have been replaced by stomach rolls.
And both my legs and boobs look bigger.
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Is one better than the other?
No!
They’re both me.
They were taken just minutes apart.
They haven’t been photoshopped or edited in anyway.
The only difference is that in one photo I’m posing and in the other I’m relaxed.
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It’s so easy to get lost comparing your body to the images you see online but in reality almost all of them are posed and many are also edited or photoshopped.
Meaning the body your comparing yourself to doesn’t even look like that most of the time.
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So why not put that time to better use and work on developing into the person you want to be not physically but mentally.
After all isn’t that what your craving in the first place?
The happiness you believe that body would grant you?

You can try run from them.
You can try ignore them.
You can try block them out.
It doesn’t matter what you do.
Nothing will remove your emotions.
They are part of the human condition.
So you might as well learn to control them.
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You don’t have to play victim to your emotions.
This is something I have always struggled with.
When I feel something, I feel it so deeply that I think I’m powerless to change it but that’s just not true!
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Recently I’ve realised the power of positive thinking in combatting this issue.
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When I get clouded with sadness or anxiety, l often view that emotion as the same thing as the negative thoughts that accompany it but while we can’t choose how we feel, we CAN choose how we respond to those feelings.
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When I choose to accept the negative thoughts as reality it reinforces the negative emotions I’m experiencing.
Whereas when I choose to challenge those thoughts and think positively instead, it forces me to also challenge the feelings I’m experiencing.
This allows me to start to change how I am feeling.
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This skill takes time and practice and is something I’m only just getting to grips with but, for me, it can make all the difference.
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So the next time you’re struggling with your emotions give positive thinking a try and see how it makes you feel.

Today I did something I’ve been putting off for the last 8 years ...
I went to the dentist.
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I have been so scared about going that I’ve been having panic attacks all week.
Going to the dentist might seem like a simple task but it can be hugely anxiety provoking and sadly, like most things, the longer you avoid it the scarier it becomes.
But you know what?
It went so much better than I was expecting!
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The dentist was lovely, while I need work done I don’t need as much as I thought, it’s not going to cost as much as I thought and it didn’t hurt as much as I was expecting.
It’s so easy to catastrophise when you’re anxious about something. Imagining the worst possible scenario but in reality that’s rarely the case.
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Now that I’ve been and faced my fear I feel so proud of myself.
It would of been so easy to ignore the problem and allow my teeth to get worse but instead I took control, faced my fear and now my teeth are now going to get better instead of worse.
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Many people with mental illnesses neglect their dental hygiene, myself included. It’s nothing to be ashamed of!
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However attending to you dental hygiene does play an important role in self-care.
So take back that control and challenge your fears.
I promise you, it will help the problems a lot more than ignoring them.

Repost the incredible @thevagaggle speaking some serious truth as always.
If you haven’t already, check out her page now! .
“I have unlimited time to sit with other white people who want to be educated and have a frank discussion that enlightens them on their white privilege and how it has benefitted them constantly throughout their life. I have unlimited time to sit and try and explain that, despite perhaps not being a white supremacist, white supremacy has directly benefitted them and disadvantaged others who don’t have white privilege. I have unlimited time and a duty to educate myself and other white people about white privilege because we’ve already taken enough from people of colour without asking them to educate us for free about the strife that we have caused in their lives and their ancestors lives.
I don’t have any time for people who don’t believe white privilege exists, or who are not open to learning about it, or who are only learning the bare minimum in order to appear ‘woke’. Yah Brenda we get it, you’ve had a tough life and no, I don’t know you or your backstory personally, but that doesn’t mean that you haven’t benefitted from white privilege, because we’re talking about systematic oppression, not personal oppression.
If you’re white and offended by this post, then chances are you someone who needs to do some reading, and I hope you bask in that uncomfortable feeling and google the term ‘white privilege’ and start educating yourself.
Image seen on @mattmcgorry’s feed, originally from @betootaadvocate
#dismantlewhiteprivilege #dismantlewhitesupremacy #dismantlesystemsofoppression #dismantlesystemicracism “ ™@thevagaggle

#hipdipsarebeautiful
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When I first brought this swimsuit I didn’t like it.
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I was really disappointed that it highlighted my ‘flaws’ instead of covering them.
I hated how it showcased my hip dips, something I’ve always been very self-conscious of.
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However when I look at these pictures now all I can think is “Damn, I am rocking that suit!”.
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I love that it highlights my hip dips, showcasing them in all their beautiful glory.
But more than that, I love the freedom I felt that day.
Enjoying being at the beach with my friends, without worrying about how my body looks or what people think of me.
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Of course the swimsuit itself hasn’t changed during that time but rather how I see myself.
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When you avoid certain clothes you are reinforcing your insecurities allowing them to shape the way that you view yourself.
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However when you challenge those insecurities you take that power back, allowing you to decide how you see yourself.
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Don’t let your insecurities dictate the things you do or the way you see yourself.
If you want to wear a swimsuit then wear the damn swimsuit!
I guarantee no one will be thinking about it as much as you are.

I’m back from a lovely sunny Christmas break here in New Zealand feeling refreshed, reenergised and raring to make 2018 an amazing year.
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I spent a lot of time during my break thinking about how I want to spend the next year, whats important to me and what I need to do in order to be happier.
These sort of reflections are crucial for self-development and helped me recognise that while I have progressed in many areas this year, there are still a lot of areas I’m not coping with.
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This helped me make the decision to enter into counselling again.
Unfortunately due to my lifestyle and financial restrictions, face to face counselling isn’t an option.
However, luckily, there are other options available to receive counselling and I am now receiving counselling through @betterhelp (thank you @omgkenzieee for bringing their service to my awareness).
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BetterHelp is a fantastic service, for anyone who don’t know, you can download the app onto your phone or access it online; which allows the service to be accessible to anyone, anywhere there’s internet!
How great is that?! Plus they charge a reduced cost compared to traditional face to face counselling.
They provide counselling in a variety of formats including via phone, video chat, instant messaging and in text.
They even offer financial aid to those of low incomes. .
This isn’t an ad by the way, I am just really impressed with the service and wanted to share my experience in case any of you are looking for counselling but unsure how you’re going to fit it in/afford it.
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Often people forget that there are options in receiving mental health treatment.
So if you’re not getting anywhere with your local mental health team don’t be scared to explore other options.
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You can access counselling privately, through charities, e-counselling and in support groups.
There are also some amazing helplines and tons of self-help resources available.
So don’t be afraid to try them out and see what works best for you.
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I am a strong believer that counselling can help anyone and yet we’re often fearful to try it out.
Don’t let that fear prevent you from asking for help when you need it!
It could make all the difference.

I’m going to sign off social media for the holidays.
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I need some time out to rest and enjoy time spent with loved ones.
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Self-care is essential, especially over the holidays.
The holidays can be a very difficult time of year. Its important to make sure you take time out to look after yourself.
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The holidays are particularly challenging for those suffering with mental illness. Please ensure you are looking after your mental health before anything else.
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Focus on the things that make you happy.
While the holidays can be very challenging they can also be a really lovely time of year.
They give you a chance to spend time with loved ones, eat yummy foods and take a break from the normal day to day life stressors such as work.
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Image repost @meandmyed.art if you haven’t already check out her page now for more beautiful and inspirational illustrations.

You are enough.
You are enough exactly as you are.
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You are so enough it's almost unbelievable.
But you ARE enough! You always have been and always will be.
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Don't stand for anyone making you feel less than enough... including yourself!
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Image repost @refinery29

Not all photos are Instagram worthy.
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Every photo you see on my page is one of a series of photos I've taken then carefully combed through to find the best one.
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Some photos I delete because of the quality of the photo but most I delete in favour of the 'more' attractive photo; choosing to keep the one with the best lighting or pose.
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Unfortunately society has taught us to equate the 'better' photo with the more conventionally attractive photo.
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I try to be as authentic as possible on this page. I don't edit my photos other than occasionally adjusting the brightness and shadows for better photo quality but I do choose which photos I share carefully.
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So here's a photo that I would typically post on Instagram and one that I would normally choose to delete.
Reminding you that what you see on social media is only one aspect of the real thing.
You only see what that person wants you to see.
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In real life we all have less attractive angles.
We all take bad photos.
It doesn't mean that your any less attractive.
It doesn't alter your worth in anyway.
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Don't waste your time comparing yourself to people on social media.
Their feed will never truly represent the wonderfully imperfect chaos that is a human life.
No photo will ever captivate someone in their entirety, it's just a snapshot of reality.
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Your time is much better spent challenging the social constructs that have lead us to believe that a humans worth lies in how objectively attractive they are considered.

We have a choice in life.
We can either dwell on the negatives aspects of life or we can focus on the positives.
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This choice often comes down to how you think about life.
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We don't get to choose our thoughts but we CAN choose which thoughts we give power to!
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For example, I can think about being a purple elephant but because realistically this isn't possible I don't give this thought any power.
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We go through this same process with every thought we have; choosing which ones we entertain and which ones we dismiss.
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So if you are constantly choosing to focus on negative thoughts, giving them power, they will become all that you see.
However if you focus on the positives, giving them power instead, you will start to recognise them more and more in your life.
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Thinking about the positives will often allow us the process negative information in a more productive manner. So instead of panicking and giving up because of how overwhelming the negatives are, you assess them calmly and look for a positive solution.
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Image repost @aftermyownbelly

Here's to celebrating our smiles.
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I faked my smile for such long time that now, whenever I do catch myself genuinely smiling, I celebrate it.
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I caught this smile whilst my camera was on burst and I had to share it.
I honestly think the progression of a smile is one of the most beautiful processes out there.
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Tell me below what makes you smile?
Or share a photo of yourself smiling with the hashtag #selflovesmile

When you stop expecting your body to look like someone else you can finally start to appreciate what it actually looks like.
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I used to be 100% guilty of this. I wanted so desperately to look like someone else that it clouded how I saw myself.
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Logically I knew I wasn't going to wake up and look like a completely different person but I still longed that I would.
So everyday when I woke up still looking like myself I was filled with disappointment and disgust.
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It was one of the main motivators in changing my appearance.
I believed that somehow once I reached that goal weight or changed my hair that then I would finally look like the perfect photoshopped models that filled my magazines.
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I brought into every single bullshit beauty standard diet culture sold me and for every one I didn't meet I saw as another flaw that needed targeting.
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Since I've started to accept myself, I've stopped trying to look like someone else and instead started embracing who I actually am; exploring what my body looks like and challenging myself to start appreciating it instead of tearing it down.
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A couple of years ago I wouldn't of dreamed of taking a photo like this, let alone sharing it with the world.
I would of met it with multiple criticisms. Telling myself all the things I needed to change before I could be worthy.
But that mentality was so skewed by my eating disorder that it locked me in a prison of my own mind, clawing at myself to try get out.
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Through recovery I've finally learnt that my worth was never dictated by my body.
This allowed me to start appreciating my body in a whole new way.
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When I look at this photo now, I no longer see flaws or target areas.
I no longer compare myself to others, seeing their beauty as the absence of my own.
Instead I recognise the beauty in our differences.
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I appreciate the softness of my stomach and the way my body curves and rolls around itself.
I appreciate the comfort and ease of my pose and the happiness in my smile.
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I no longer want to fight myself to become something I'm not meant to be.
We are all so uniquely beautiful.
It's about time we started appreciating ourselves for exactly who we are.

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