Do you talk to yourself when you look in the mirror, especially if it is more like “My legs seem fat” or “My thighs appear very big”? If so, it might greatly affect your mental health and well-being.

Your perception of and attitude toward the physical aspects of your body make up your body image. A good body image is one in which you feel confident and at ease in your skin, according to the Office on Women’s Health. On the other hand, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, having a poor body image makes you feel ashamed, anxious, and self-conscious.

Ways Body Image Impacts Mental Health

Here are some ways your body image may affect your risk of developing eating disorders, and mental well-being. 

  • Negative thoughts about your body image don’t necessarily convert into negative thoughts about your overall self, but they can do so quickly. The mental and emotional well-being can suffer as a result of this negativity.
  • Low self-esteem, which can result in problematic habits like obsessive exercise and excessive dieting or social withdrawal, is frequently a result of having a bad body image. 
  • Low self-esteem can also be an issue since it can affect relationships and performance at work or school, raise your risk of depression, and cause stress, anxiety, and loneliness.

How to Develop a Positive Body Image?

Take into account the following advice to develop a positive body image:

  • Remind yourself that your body is a wonderful instrument that carries out a variety of tasks that enable you to enjoy life.
  • Not to achieve a specific weight or body type but to enhance health and strength via diet and exercise.
  • Practice self-compassion or treat yourself with kindness and understanding instead of condemnation and criticism.
  • Recognize your body’s shame feelings and the source of the feelings.
  • Mindfulness will help you stop letting negative emotions and thoughts define or control you.
  • Unfollow users on social media that advocate for unrealistic body ideals or stir up negative sentiments about the body.
  • Be in the company of upbeat individuals who value you for who you are rather than what you look like.
  • Please politely request that those you associate with refrain from commenting on your or others’ bodies.
  • Put on comfortable attire that you don’t always have to think about or worry about.
  • Please pay attention to how it feels to move and be in your body rather than how it appears.
About the Author:

Author: Mayeling Angelastro MA, LMHC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor dedicated in helping individuals, families, couples, children and teenagers in the Horizon West, Windermere and Dr Phillips area.

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