With so many images of the ‘perfect’ body bombarding us on a daily basis through social media, adverts, entertainment, and more, it’s easy to feel as though you don’t live up to what seem like impossible standards. However, it’s an issue that needs to be tackled – negative body issues can have a huge impact on your wellness and view on self-worth.
The relationship between body image and mental health is clear, though it is complex. Anyone who has had negative thoughts about their body will understand how it can have an almost immediate impact on a range of areas, such as confidence, emotions, and how you view yourself. While everyone is likely to experience short-term feelings like these once in a while, when they become common or constant, it undoubtedly influences your overall wellness.
Image and how we look is linked to how we view ourselves in the wider world and, as a result, negative body image can have long-term complications on wellness, leading to the development of complex mental health issues. If you don’t see yourself as meeting society’s standards on beauty, it’ll have an obvious impact on your self-worth and can create negative thought processes that lead to you viewing other areas of your life, such as work or friendships, negatively too.
Signs that your wellness has been affected can range from putting off the occasional plans because of body image through to depression that is severely affecting normal activities. Your wellness and mental health depend on a positive body image. If body image is affecting you, these three steps can help put you on the right path to making improvements:
- Avoid media that makes you view your body negatively. If you notice your mood takes a dive after browsing Instagram or picking up magazines, take steps to remove them from your life.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. This one can be difficult to do but it will have a big impact on how you view yourself. Rather than wishing you could change your body to match another, focus on what makes yours unique.
- Practice positive thinking. Simply thinking in a positive way can influence your mood and how you view things. When you’d normally think something negative, flip it around – positive thoughts can quickly become habit and change your perspective.
If you’re struggling with body image or another type of mental health issue that’s affecting your wellness, our team at the Healthy Psychology Clinic can help.