Have you ever found yourself comparing your physique to the TV models and felt sad about your appearance? Do you ever feel like you require shedding some pounds to appear more attractive? People are often not happy with their appearance. Being uneasy in your skin may be the sign of low self-esteem due to negative body image.
Many factors are responsible for making people feel this way. From television shows to social media platforms, having a perfect body is idealized and considered a standard of beauty. However, the truth is, everyone is different. Each person has a unique body and deserves to be treated well despite the differences.
Sadly, most people, especially teens, go through a tough time accepting their bodies. They develop unhealthy habits and eating disorders to fit into the false scales for the perfect body. The good news is, Therapists / Psychologists can help teens and adults, males and females, to overcome their insecurities and accept the way they are.
What is Body Image and Self-Esteem?
Body image is a combination of people’s thoughts and feelings towards their own body and physical appearance. It is a considerable factor affecting self-esteem. Often, bullying and criticism by other people can lead to a negative body image. Self-esteem is the extent to which you appreciate your individuality and like yourself. How people judge your personality affects your self-esteem.
How does Body Image Affect Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem and body image have a profound impact on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When you compare your body to someone else’s, you can never be content because you can’t measure up. The social media-frenzied and photo-shopped society make people believe there is a standard for beauty. However, it is usually not realistic. If it is not real, it is not achievable either. Yet, most people think otherwise and suffer from low self-esteem.
Positive body image and self-esteem
People who love their bodies regardless of the differences are more likely to be confident and happy with their lives. A positive body image includes being comfortable with the way you look, eating healthy to meet the body’s needs, and understanding that looks don’t have anything to do with abilities or worth. When you have a positive and healthy body image, you feel more capable and energetic. You keep realistic expectations and respect yourself, consequently boosting self-esteem.
Having a positive body image works wonders for mental health because you make time to take care of yourself even during stressful situations and accept that one can not attain 100% perfection. People with higher self-esteem and value for oneself are more in control of their lives because they have a realistic understanding of their weaknesses and strengths, allowing them to gain mental clarity and peace required to succeed at work, school, and relationships.
Negative body image and self-esteem
A negative body image arises from different problems. They may range from unrealistic expectations to eating disorders like Anorexia and Bulimia. Having a negative body image damages your self-esteem. Teenagers are most prone to having a negative body image. This harms their confidence and affects their social and communicative skills. Many teens fall into depression due to the negativity they feel about their bodies and the judgment they perceive from others.
It is crucial to understand the long-term impact of low self-esteem and negative body image. A healthy life requires positive thinking. Negativity affects both your physical and psychological well-being. Anything from relatives’ comments to exposure to unrealistic body types through social media can pressure a person to look a certain way. If they fail, they lose self-esteem and suffer or act out in behaviors to get validation.
Encourage a healthy body image and boost your self-esteem
If you are struggling through a difficult phase dealing with low self-esteem and negative body image, here are some super simple ways to deal with your problem:
Accept your body
Everyone wants to be accepted the way they are. This acceptance starts with you. You need to consider your body a friend and start loving it. Self-shaming and making harsh comments about your body harm your self-esteem. Be kind to yourself first; other people will follow.
Praise your body’s features
A great way to boost your self-esteem and get rid of negative body image is to praise your body’s positive aspects like your hands, hair, feet, or eyes. Tell yourself what you like the most about your body and why. If you struggle with finding something good, ask your friends. You’d be surprised by what people find attractive—knowing that your loved ones like your hair or eyes could boost your self-esteem.
Loving your body requires taking care of it. Many people who suffer from low self-esteem due to negative body image often starve themselves or overeat to meet their requirements. Many eating disorders are also linked with a negative body image. Eating healthy and in the right proportions is the first step towards self-acceptance and positive body image.
Adopt healthy habits
Adopt healthy habits to take care of your body. Getting enough sleep and having a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for your body. Not only do good habits work wonders for your health in general, but they also boost self-confidence and create a more robust body image in your mind.
When to seek professional help?
Sometimes, negative body image and low self-esteem are too much to deal with alone. A negative body image may create health problems, and you may fall into depression. Eating disorders and trauma can also affect how you feel about your body. If you feel overwhelmed by negative body image and self-esteem issues, getting professional help is a must.
Why MindShift Psychological Services?
Improve your body image and self-esteem with MindShift Psychological Services. The Therapists / Psychologists at MindShift offer quality therapy sessions that help you identify your problems’ root cause and allow you to learn coping mechanisms. They offer a wide range of therapeutic services, including:
Psychotherapy for individuals or Individual Therapy focuses on individual behaviors. This therapy is beneficial for people for various reasons, including, but not limited to, trauma, depression, and eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa.
People suffering from negative body image due to trauma caused by physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse in the past can benefit from Trauma Therapy. This therapy allows you to heal and gain lifelong skills to move forward.
Since most teens suffer from negative body image and self-esteem issues, Teen Therapy can benefit them. This therapy helps teenagers communicate their problems and healthily manage issues.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
People with eating disorders can benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as this therapy allows you to identify negative thinking patterns and reshape them accordingly. CBT also offers positive outcomes with self-help and learning practical strategies.