How Body Image Affects Mental Health
If you’re like me, you’ve spent years and years of your life wishing that you could change something about yourself. Whether it be your body or your face, someone has always told me that I needed to gain weight or get skin bleaching. Because my appearance was not up to their standards. This can have a real effect on how we feel about ourselves, which will affect our mental health in many ways.
Body image and mental health
Body image is a person’s perception of his or her own physical appearance. It can be influenced by media, friends and family, gender and race. Body image affects mental health because it can contribute to low self-esteem and depression.
What is body confidence?
Body confidence is a personal sense of self-worth and self-acceptance. It’s not about being happy with your body, nor is it about hating your body. Body confidence means knowing that you are more than just the way you look, and that no matter what size or shape you are, there will always be people who find you attractive.
Body confidence isn’t something that comes naturally–it takes time to build up and maintain over time. Body image issues are often linked to mental health problems such as eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa) and low self-esteem which can lead to depression or anxiety disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
How does body image affect your mental health?
Body image refers to how you feel about your body. If you have a positive body image, then it means that you are happy with the way that you look and don’t want to change anything about yourself. On the other hand, if you have a negative body image (often referred to as poor self-esteem), then this can cause problems in other areas of your life such as:
- Your mood – low self-esteem may make people feel sad or depressed all the time
- Eating habits – if someone has low self-esteem they are more likely than others to binge eat or starve themselves. Because they think their bodies aren’t good enough
- Social life – if someone has low self-esteem they might avoid going out. Because they don’t want other people to see them. So that they won’t have any chance at making them feel bad about themselves
How to improve your body positivity
- Accept your body as it is now.
- Focus on the things you like about your body.
- Focus on the things you like about yourself.
- Look at photos of people who have similar bodies to yours and appreciate their beauty, no matter how different they are from what society deems “ideal” or “acceptable”.
It’s important that you feel good about yourself in order to be happy.
How you feel about yourself has a lot to do with how happy you are. It might seem like a silly thing to say, but it’s true!
If you look in the mirror and think “I’m not good enough,”. Or if you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people (especially celebrities). Then your body image is probably negatively affecting your mental health.
Body positivity is important for your mental health. The more you love yourself and feel good about who you are, the happier you’ll be. You don’t have to be perfect. No one is! But if you work on improving your self-esteem by practicing positive affirmations. Or finding ways to boost it up when it falters (like with these tips), then over time, that feeling will become second nature.