Body image affects mental health – Fact! In the past decade, there’s been more and more talk about body image and how people are feeling worse and worse about themselves and how much that is affecting us. No matter where the pressure is coming from to look “perfect”, we just can’t seem to focus on anything else before we are flawless.
But there’s really no such thing as perfection. So why do we have poor body image, how is it affecting our mental state, and what can we do about it?
Identify Where It’s Coming From
One of the first steps you must take if you have poor body image is to identify where those feelings are coming from. If it is coming from within, then you have to pick it apart: Whom are you comparing yourself to? Are you worried about your opinion or that of others?
If it is coming from family, and especially a figure like your mother, then it can carry a lot more weight. Every time you hear “you don’t look good” from her, you might actually hear “you’re not good enough” or “I don’t accept you as you are”.
This can be especially detrimental for younger people because that’s when their parents’ influence is strongest.
And thirdly, it could be coming from the society: from friends who keep making comments about their weight or a birthmark, the photoshopped models we’re seeing as the only acceptable standard of beauty.
Plus all the other signals you’re getting from advertisements for products made to “fix” your “flaws”.
Don’t Let It Take Center Stage
Here’s the worst part about bad body image: you stop working on yourself. You start thinking that the only thing that matters are your looks and that overshadows any other actual personality flaws you might have.
For example, someone you’re romantically interested in rejects you, you might think that it’s because of a mole you have somewhere on your face and you only feel worse about it, when it’s actually because you’re a bad listener.
So, having a poor body image can literally stunt your personal growth and betterment of things that actually matter.
And if you can’t get over something like that, it might be worth it to schedule a consult with Cosmetic Surgery Australia and talk to an expert who specializes in that and see if there is something that can be done.
You need to actually start to focus on yourself and better yourself, by any means necessary.
Bad body image, women, and not feeling confident all go hand in hand. Society is pushing an impossible body standard on women, and if you’re not reaching it or making it your life’s mission to reach it, you don’t fit in.
Feeling bad about your body is popular, and if you are a confident woman who likes the way she looks, you might be someone who stands out.
If you are, you won’t be one of the “cool kids”, ultimately shaming yourself back to feeling bad, because you’ll think that you’re being rejected because of your looks.
What is happening is, it’s hard for people to see someone who is just thriving in their own body, while they are stuck trying to change it, instead of loving it.
This can make you feel depressed and isolated, but the best thing you can do is find like-minded people you can be with and try to uplift others to leave the crazy standards behind them and enjoy life.
An Instrument, Not An Ornament
The issue we’re all experiencing is that we see our body as an ornament – something to look good, to decorate and to be admired, instead of an instrument – something that gets us through life, helps us achieve goals and keeps us alive.
If you manage to switch your thinking from one to the other, you’ll not only be able to have a much healthier relationship with exercise and food, but you will be able to celebrate your body for what it can do, instead of what it does (or doesn’t) look like.
It will help you focus on your qualities other than your looks, and even if you want to focus on your physical body, you will be starting from a positive point, rather than a negative.
So, if you want to have a better body image, you have to understand that it’s all a perception you have and that your mental state is completely tied to your view of your body. Now get your instrument moving and start practicing some good old self-love.
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Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.