5 Signs That You Could Be Struggling With Poor Body Image
“I’d learned to avoid mirrors. They never seemed to show me what I wanted to see.” ― Leigh Bardugo,
Body image describes how we think about our body. Our body image can therefore be VERY DIFFERENT to what our actual body looks like in person and to someone else. If in our heads, we are magnifying certain aspects of our body that we don't like and minimising other attractive qualities, we can end up with a very distorted picture of ourselves in our mind. Even when looking in the mirror or at photos of ourselves, we can then also end up seeing something very different to what other people see. For example, let's say that I don't like how my stomach looks, I may, in my head, have an image of myself where I just see a huge stomach but don't then notice my eyes, hair, skin, other parts of my body or other aspects of who I am as a person. For many people, their body image and self-perception becomes distorted in this way because as humans we tend to focus more on negative things than positive things. This also can apply when it comes to our body, where we focus on the things we see as flaws, rather than our positive qualities.
Many people struggling with their body image will try and change their appearance in order to feel better about their body. However, this usually doesn't help. Even once that person has lost weight, undergone a cosmetic procedure or toned up, they still feel the need to change something else about how they look or to lose even more weight. This is because body image isn't about how our body actually looks. Body image is just how we imagine and see our body in our mind. If we are programmed to look for the "bad" or "negative" aspects of our body, then we will keep doing this WHATEVER our body looks like. This is why, to help improve body image and to boost someone's confidence and self-esteem it is important that they have a more balanced view of themselves, where they can also see their positive physical attributes and also personality traits too.
Here are 5 signs that you could have a negative and unhelpful body image:
1. YOU ARE CONSTANTLY TRYING TO CHANGE THE WAY THAT YOUR BODY LOOKS, BUT EVEN WHEN YOU DO, YOU JUST FIND SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT YOUR BODY THAT YOU WANT TO CHANGE. YOU DON'T SEEM TO EVER BE HAPPY WITH YOUR BODY OR APPEARANCE.
2. YOU OBSESSIVELY THINK ABOUT YOUR BODY AND NEVER FEEL HAPPY WITH IT. THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR BODY OR HOW YOU NEED TO CHANGE IT OCCUPY A LOT OF YOUR TIME AND MENTAL SPACE.
3. YOU FEEL ANXIOUS AND ASHAMED ABOUT THE WAY THAT YOU LOOK. YOU MAY EVEN AVOID SEEING FRIENDS OR FAMILY AND DOING THINGS BECAUSE YOU ARE ASHAMED OF YOUR BODY.
4. YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF AVOIDING LOOKING IN MIRRORS OR AT PHOTOS OF YOURSELF. YOU MAY ON THE OTHER HAND, BE SOMEONE WHO IS CONSTANTLY CHECKING YOUR BODY AND TAKING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF TO SEE IF YOUR APPEARANCE HAS CHANGED. BOTH CAN BE A SIGN OF AN UNHELPFUL BODY IMAGE.
5. YOU FIND YOURSELF COMPARING YOUR BODY TO OTHER PEOPLE'S A LOT AND THIS MAKES YOU FEEL DOWN ABOUT YOUR OWN BODY.
If you would like some support to rebuild your relationship with your body or with food, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to book in a free consultation.
“Are we really going to spend our whole lives like this, feeling the wrong shape and the wrong weight in the wrong skin?” ― Emma Woolf