How do you feel in your own skin? When you see yourself in the mirror, do you hyperfocus on your flaws? Or do you have a sense of acceptance? Body image has less to do with your appearance and more to do with how you view yourself. You could be the picture of health but, with a negative internal dialogue and unrealistic expectations for yourself, you can still have a poor body image.
An unhealthy body image can look different depending on the individual. However, generally, it focuses heavily on the way we look or what we dislike about ourselves. A healthy body image, on the other hand, is based on a combination of qualities about ourselves.
How can you tell if you have a healthy body image?
Body image isn’t about appearance, it’s about mindset. When you get dressed in the morning, do you feel comfortable and confident? Or do you immediately dive down a rabbit hole of self-deprecating, critical thoughts? When you’re out with your friends, do you find yourself covering up your stomach or comparing yourself to other people? Take a moment to truly think about how you’re viewing your body.
Is the media affecting the way you think about yourself?
The answer, of course, is yes. However, we can limit the impact that we allow social media, advertisements, and celebrities to influence our body image. Recognizing that pictures strewn across all media platforms are photoshopped, filtered, and staged can help decrease unrealistic expectations for yourself. So, as you scroll through Instagram, remember that most of the time, what you’re seeing was doctored, and not actual reality. Do not hold yourself to this unrealistic expectation and certainly don’t give it any power over you and how you feel about your own body.
Are the people around you affecting your body image?
As with most aspects of mental health, the people you surround yourself with can have a profound impact on your body image. If you have friends or family members who are obsessed with their weight or constantly talking negatively about themselves, it can pull you into a similar pattern. Reflect on the topics that you and the people you surround yourself with frequently talk about. Are you lifting each other up?
How can you work on your body image?
There are many ways you can improve your self-confidence and change the way you view yourself. You can weaken your internal critic, practice self-care, use daily mantras or work on viewing yourself as a whole, instead of basing all your value on appearance.
In next week’s blog, we will dive deeper into the various ways you can address having an unhealthy body image. If you would like to speak with someone about working on your self-esteem or building confidence, give Tx Harmony Counseling a call at (832) 352-1600 or contact us here.