Most of us have parts of our bodies that we would like to change but sometimes overconcern and preoccupation with our appearance can really impact our lives.
What is body image?
Body image is not how someone looks but how an individual see themselves. It is their unique perception of how their body is experienced. This can be similar or very different to how others see them.
In today’s society disliking your body is often seen as normal and indeed it is becoming a very common experience. However common, disliking or hating your body doesn’t have to be YOUR normal!
Having a negative body image can lead to mental health conditions such as body dysmorphia, eating disorders and depression. It can also lead to unsafe behaviours such as extreme weight loss attempts and surgeries in an attempt to fix the problem.
How we think about or bodies is influenced by many factors. Family and friends share beliefs about shape and weight, and our culture and social media help to set ideals and expectations. The way we experience our body is also shaped by past experiences which may include discrimination, weight stigma or trauma.
What can be done?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness-based approaches can assist in healing from a negative body image.
Our beliefs about our body are maintained by behaviours such as body avoidance, body fixing and body checking. We can help guide you to challenge these behaviours and instead use helpful coping strategies which support body acceptance.
Automatic negative thoughts (often body criticism) stem form negative core beliefs. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is beneficial to identify unhelpful thinking patterns and challenge these.
If you are concerned your body image is impacting you, help is available.
If you would like more information or would like to know how we can help, feel free to contact us here.