The relationship between body image and mental health is something that can have an effect on someone early on in life. Having low self-esteem and very little self-worth can cause mental duress. It may even prompt the person to seek ways to change their body image in hopes that they’ll feel better about themselves. But how can one become happy and accepting of what they were given and protective of their mental health when the media is so focused on perfection?
Body Image Goes Beyond Weight
A positive outlook can do a body good when it comes to healing. But if you have a poor body image that develops over time, it may affect how you view your own size, shape or weight. Other features may also become a factor such as skin markings, hearing devices, glasses, and prosthetics.
Who’s to Blame for Negative Body Image?
Because social media, advertisers, and the media are front and center, it’s hard to escape the perfect image. In order to sell a particular product, advertisers use beautiful people to hock their wares. If someone sees imperfection, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are there to critique the tiniest of shortcomings. Selfies are another prime examples where people present their image to the public. Unfortunately, the populace can be cruel at times, and the image may be rated or discussed. The comments can get so bad that it borders on bullying. Models praised for being stick thin can also give off a poor body image to those who are curvaceous or portly. The context boosts the notion that a person’s self-worth is attached to how they appear. If you don’t like what you see, it could have a direct impact on your mental health and wellness. If you haven’t come to appreciate your appearance, and you’re suffering, you may even need to seek counseling to improve your mental health.
The Risks of Developing a Negative Body Image
Poor body image can appear at any stage in life. Parents may plant the seed unknowingly about their appearance. This could include pointing out blemishes such as a large nose, birth marks, small breasts or being overweight. Media, news outlets, and discussion forums can impact a person’s view and cause mental anguish. If you don’t like what you see, you may resort to drastic measures such as bulimia to lose excessive pounds or plastic surgery to correct a bump in your nose. If your mental health has been affected, no amount of fixing will help unless you get professional guidance.
Developing a Better Body Image
Although a few tips may not teach you how to turn negative thoughts into a more positive body image overnight, the steps can provide you with a healthier insight. You can begin to instill confidence by focusing on the many amazing things your body can do. From running and dancing to breathing and dreaming, life is good. You can also make a list of your positive attributes. As you become aware of different things, add to the list. If you find yourself focusing on the negative, take the list out and read it. Hanging out with happy and positive people can have a huge impact on your mental outlook. Look for people who are supportive and see only the good in you.
The public’s concern about appearance today has gotten out of hand. Because there are more public forums to rate an individual’s inadequacies, your self-confidence may be taking a drastic hit. But with positive reassurance and embracing who you are both inside and out, you can boost your mental health and find the happiness that you so richly deserve.