Everyone feels a little self-conscious from time to time. But those struggling with negative body image regularly can quickly begin to suffer from other feelings such as shame or depression. This cycle of negativity can be further fueled by health, genetics, or even the environment and lead to isolation, suicidal thoughts, or eating disorders.
However, by changing the way we think about our bodies, we can all regain a little self-confidence and push away any issues with have with our body image. And, the more we practice changing our mindset, the easier it becomes. By actively trying to be more positive about our bodies, we can feel better about our appearance, weight, or any other physical changes we’re experiencing.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss the impact of negative body image and how to overcome it.
The impact of negative body image
Having low self-esteem at any age can be detrimental, but research proves that teenagers that struggle with negative body image are much more likely to develop depression or other mental health conditions such as OCD, social anxiety, body dysmorphia, or eating disorders in early adulthood.
(Note: if you think you might be suffering from a mental health issue such as an eating disorder, you can speak to a professional at Eden Treatment about your concerns – no matter how slight you think they are.)
Negative body image can be triggered by a world of things, and the constant exposure to diet culture, unrealistic expectations, and filtered images on social media certainly doesn’t help. Social media can be a huge trigger for impressionable teens – and adults – creating a social conception that we need to be thin and skinny to be successful.
And while it’s unlikely the stars of Hollywood will change any time soon, those of us down on Earth can certainly do our bit to embrace diversity and promote body positivity for all shapes and sizes. Recognizing and respecting ourselves in our natural state can help to boost our own self-esteem while also encouraging others to do the same.
Creating positive body image and regaining confidence
Imagine how good it would be if our internal monologue was as nice as we were to our loved ones? While we’re all keen to boost up our friends and spread positivity around the family, we barely ever seem to do the same for ourselves.
Positive body image is all about changing this. And rather than diving in and somehow feeling instantly as sassy and confident as Lizzo, positive body image can be practiced.
So how can you create a positive body image?
Practicing positive affirmations is a good step. Write down things that you actually like about yourself. These don’t have to be just about your physical appearance: beauty is much deeper than that.
Skip the social media. Any account that makes you feel unworthy isn’t worthy of your time.
Remove black and white thinking for food. Foods aren’t ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Everything can be enjoyed in moderation.
Finally, practice self-care. Take a bath, go for a walk or do something that scares you. All of this can help you realize how special, strong, and beautiful your body really is.