How To Overcome Negative Body Image
How can I over come native bogy image? Many people, especially women, are concerned about their body image. According to a survey conducted by The Women and Equalities Committee, just about 20% of women are content with their bodies. Isn’t this a pity? When society’s beauty standards have made many of us self-conscious about our bodies, we forget that they are a highly intelligent and beautiful biochemical mechanism. PowerPAC plus will learn how to deal with negative body image in this article so that you can finally be satisfied with yourself when you look in the mirror.
What is body image?
A person’s emotional attitudes, beliefs, and impressions about their own body are referred to as body image. It’s been described as a “complicated emotional experience” by experts. Body image has to do with:
- what you think of your physique, your height, weight, and shape
- how you perceive and control your body’s movement
- your mental image of how your body appears to you and others
- your knowledge of what your body is capable of
- your understanding of how your limbs move in space
- your assessment of different regions of your body
- your thoughts about your body and its parts
- your body size estimation
- your culturally influenced perceptions of what a body should look like
- the actions you believe are required to assess your body
A person’s body image can range from positive to negative, indicating happiness or discontent with their appearance. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), eating disorders, and other diseases can all be exacerbated by a negative body image.
Negative body image
Negative body image is one of the most common body image problems, and it can start at a young age. According to a study published in 2020, 40 to 50 percent of first- and second-graders dislike some element of their bodies already.
This unhappiness can worsen as bodies change during puberty. Relationship troubles between parents and children, according to a 2006 study, might amplify negative sentiments. Your body image is also heavily influenced by culture. The way you think and feel about your body is influenced by how your society considers the following:
- size and shape
- skin color
Your self-perception may be influenced by the concepts and values of your family, peers, education, and religion heritage. It’s no surprise that body image may be troublesome for many people, given its complexity and societal pressure to adhere to its ever-changing norms. A person who has a poor body image is unhappy with their own physique and appearance.
- When they compare themselves to others, they feel inadequate.
- Embarrassed or ashamed
- Lack of self-assurance
- Feeling uneasy or awkward in their own skin
- Parts of their bodies, such as their nose, appear to be twisted.
In some situations, having a bad body image can contribute to mental health problems, such as depression.
Unnecessary surgery, risky weight-loss habits (such as crash dieting), or the misuse of hormones to develop muscle are all possibilities. According to the NEDA, there is a clear correlation between eating disorders and negative body image.
BDD is a condition that affects some people. BDD affects a person’s perception of a part or all of their body. They may request cosmetic surgery to “fix” their nose size, for example, when it appears normal to everyone else.
A person’s body image does not grow in a vacuum. Positive and negative messages about the body are sent through culture, family, and friends. The media, classmates, and family members can all have an impact on a person’s self-perception. They have the ability to persuade their audience, even at a young age, that there is an ideal body. The image is frequently unnatural. When the fashion industry uses underweight models to advertise their wares, it sets a bad example.
Discrimination on the basis of colour, size, ability, gender orientation, and age is also a factor. People who are subjected to daily microaggressions at work and in society may feel as though they don’t measure up or are deficient in some way. Accidents and illnesses might also have an influence. People may reconsider how they appear to themselves and others as a result of skin disorders, a mastectomy for breast cancer, or a limb amputation. All of these things can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical health.
Females with better resilience, as measured by family support, gender role fulfillment, coping mechanisms, fitness, and well-being, are more likely to have a good body image, according to research. This implies that emotional uncertainty may play a role in having a negative body image.
“Fat talk,” which refers to when people speak about how “fat” they appear, is one example of body denigrating talks. These discussions can lead to more negative feelings, a depressed mood, or poor eating habits.
If you’re wondering which kind of body image you’re having, the following questions can help you gauge how positive or negative your body image is:
- Are your body-image issues interfering with your relationships, employment, or activities?
- Do you go to great lengths to avoid seeing your own body?
- Do you obsessively check and recheck your physique, weighing yourself, measuring your body parts, pinching your skin, or repeatedly scrutinizing yourself in the mirror?
- When you go out in public, do you feel compelled to wear a thick layer of makeup?
- Do you cover your hair with caps or wear baggy garments to hide your body?
- Do you pluck, shave, wax, or laser hair away too much?
- Have you had a lot of cosmetic surgery?
- Do you describe your body in a harsh or unpleasant manner?
- Do you harm your skin on purpose?
- When you think about your body, do you have strong negative emotions?
If you replied yes to any of the questions, you should talk to a counselor about how you feel about your body.
It’s not only an issue of aesthetics when it comes to how you view your body. According to a 2020 study, body dissatisfaction can lead to a variety of physically or emotionally hazardous practices. This can entail severe dietary restrictions, particularly for teenagers. A negative body image has also been linked to a variety of health problems. People who are highly unhappy with the way their bodies seem are more likely to develop:
- mood disorders
- body dysmorphic disorder
- disordered eating
- muscle dysmorphia
- lower self-esteem
- relationship problems
- self-harm tendencies
Also, people with social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and major depressive disorder may have a higher risk of being in this condition.
Although having a negative body image can be painful and stressful, there is some good news: Effective treatments exist. Let’s look at some of the most effective therapies:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of talk therapy, has been demonstrated in multiple trials to be beneficial in helping people modify their body image. A CBT-trained therapist can assist you in identifying damaging, erroneous thought patterns and reshaping your thoughts to be more compassionate and truthful. Your therapist may work with you to improve your self-critical language and develop relaxation strategies to help you cope with the tension that comes with it.
CBT therapy may include guided imagery, a type of deep relaxation in which your therapist assists you in visualizing mental images that calm you. To learn which CBT strategies are responsible for improving your body image, more research is required. To date, CBT has proven to be the most effective treatment for this mental illness.
You can chat to a competent therapist or counselor about the causes, triggers, memories, and associations you have with your body image. Childhood trauma and sexual assault, for example, have been connected to a poor body image later in life, according to a 2013 study. Talking to someone about these early events can help you uncover and improve your tangled underlying views about your body.
A trusted therapist’s office can often be a secure place to discuss ideas and actions that you would not want to share with others. A therapist can also teach you about the harmful effects of having a negative body image on your mental and physical health. In psychotherapy, many people prefer to work one-on-one with a therapist, while others prefer to work in a group setting. Group therapy can give you with the added support of others who understand your situation.
Some research has revealed that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are commonly prescribed for anxiety problems, may be useful when working to modify your body image, according to a 2020 review. When used with CBT procedures, the drug is extremely beneficial. If you think medicine might help, talk to your doctor about the potential hazards. Not everyone is a good candidate for SSRIs.
Physical fitness therapies
Endorphins (feel-good hormones) are released when you exercise regularly, which might help you cope with the anxiety that comes with having a negative body image. Some studies believe that focusing on what your body can perform rather than how it looks can aid in the healing of a distorted body image.
Other researchers have voiced reservations about utilizing exercise to improve one’s body image. They believe there’s a risk of perpetuating the notion that you’re exercising to improve your body’s appearance.
More research is needed to determine whether exercise has a good or negative effect on body image in the long run.
6 tips to overcome
1. Fight “Fatism”
We pass judgment on others based on the aspects of ourselves that we are most insecure about. Make an effort to accept people of various sizes and forms. This will assist you in valuing your own body. Make a list of persons who you admire or who have attributes you admire. Do they all have the same “ideal” body? Does it make a difference to how you feel about them if it doesn’t?
It’s also worth noting that society’s standards have shifted dramatically in the last 50 years. Marilyn Monroe (size 14) and Mae West, who were regarded “ideal beauties” in the 1940s and 1950s, were full-bodied and wonderfully lovely ladies, yet they would be deemed “overweight” by today’s standards.
2. The Diet Culture
Ninety percent of all women have dieted at some point in their lives, and 50 percent of women are dieting at any one time. According to a recent survey, 14% of five-year-old girls said they “go on diets” in order to lose weight. Eighty percent of ten-year-old girls admit to going on a diet.
Dieting is two times as common in women than in men. Dieters will be disappointed to learn that 98 percent of dieters regain their weight within five years. According to studies, 20 to 25 percent of dieters develop a partial or full-blown eating disorder. When restrained eaters are exposed to advertising about diet, weight loss, or fitness, they experience gloomy emotions and are more inclined to overeat, according to studies.
Start focusing on developing a healthy relationship with meals instead of hurting yourself with severely unhealthy diets and the pressure of losing weight. Rather of attempting to achieve the “ideal” body, focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This is not to suggest that losing weight is a bad thing. Adopt a diet that works for you (keto, intermittent fasting, intuitive eating) and make it your lifestyle if you’ve been diagnosed with obesity or simply want to drop a few pounds.
3. Accept Genetics
It’s important to keep in mind that many aspects of your physique are unchangeable. Your shape is influenced by genetics, with your genes determining at least 25% to 70% of your body. While many features of your body are beyond your control, you may change or adjust your ideas and attitudes, which have an impact on how you feel about yourself.
Improvement begins with you – it is an internal process that begins with self-respect and a positive outlook. It is critical to concentrate on health rather than size. It’s crucial not to compare yourself to your friends, family members, or images in the media. We are all one-of-a-kind, and no two bodies are same. If we “diet into” a new physique, we will never be truly happy or healthy.
4. Understand that Emotions are Skin Deep
It’s critical to figure out what emotions and feelings are driving your distorted body image. Even if you are overweight, the remark “I feel fat” is never really about fat. When a woman looks in the mirror and says, “Gross, I’m obese and disgusting,” what she’s really saying is, “There’s something wrong with me or what I’m experiencing.” When we don’t know how to deal with our emotions, we turn to our bodies and blame them for them.
5. Question Messages Portrayed in the Media
Girls and women receive tremendous messages about the acceptability (or unacceptability) of their bodies from the media. Young girls are taught to compare themselves to successful women on social media, evaluating how closely they resemble the “ideal” body shape.
Many of the photographs in the media have been retouched and electronically enhanced. Through computer photo editing, the models’ hips and waists have been reduced and their breasts have been expanded. Many of the ladies featured in the media have an eating disorder or have developed disordered eating patterns in order to maintain their slim physiques.
It’s critical to begin questioning media representations and why women feel obligated to “live up” to these unattainable standards of beauty and thinness.
6. Befriend Your Body
Dismissive body image can lead to sadness, shyness, social anxiety, and self-consciousness in personal relationships, thus it’s critical to battle it. An eating disorder might develop as a result of a negative body image. It’s past time for women to stop shaming their bodies and start appreciating their inner selves, souls, and spirits.
A woman’s body is a biological marvel; she has the ability to menstruate, ovulate, and give birth. Recognize that you are not required to compare yourself to other women or women in the media. Begin to question the media’s portrayals of you, and recognize that your worth isn’t determined by how closely you resemble these artificial representations.
When you have a poor body image, you compare your size, shape, or look to false ideals. Holding yourself to a skinny or athletic ideal can lead to negative self-talk, low self-esteem, and disordered eating practices.
You could try CBT or talk therapy on your alone or in a group environment to modify a dismissive body image. You could also discuss drugs with your doctor to aid with the anxiety you’re experiencing. There are also an increasing number of materials available to assist you in developing a more positive self-image.
Every experience in your life has been made possible by your body. Your heart continues to beat. And your breath continues to flow in and out. You can begin healing your body image today so that you can walk your own beautiful path in peace.