Feeling dissatisfied with your physical appearance is referred to as body image concerns. While everyone’s journey to body positivity is different, there are a variety of techniques to reduce negative feelings and increase confidence.
A person with a bad self-image (also known as body image disorders) believes that their body isn’t good enough. But, obviously, that is a very basic description. Symptoms might range from being self-conscious about your appearance to feeling completely consumed by self-doubt.
Here’s a closer look at what it means to be self-conscious about your body. We also have a list of the best coping strategies, as well as possible reasons and symptoms to watch out for.
Body image issues’ signs and symptoms
Symptoms of body insecurity differ greatly from person to person. There are a few, though, that you should be aware of. You might have a problem with your body image if you:
- You may feel worthless or unattractive, and you may have unrealistic beauty standards or ambitions.
- Prioritize your attractiveness over your health; your physical appearance determines your self-worth.
- go to great lengths to achieve a specific body weight or garment size
- Do you believe you’d be happier or more content if you were lighter?
- Spend an inordinate amount of time and effort attempting to “enhance” your appearance
What can I do to get rid of my body image problems?
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to resolve your body image concerns in a single day. It requires a lot of time, effort, and self-care for most people. Here are five pointers to assist you on your way.
Spending less time on social media is a good idea
Influencers aren’t the only ones that promote erroneous beauty ideals.
According to studies, the media as a whole has an impact on people’s perceptions of what a healthy physique should look like. It’s also incredibly easy to compare yourself to the random folks you meet on the street while doomscrolling.
Take a break from social media if you can. Also, keep in mind that the majority of what you see on social media is an idealised picture of someone’s life. This isn’t the case.
Keep the haters at away
Anyone who makes you feel horrible about yourself is not deserving of your presence in their lives. So try to avoid folks who make you feel bad about yourself. Of course, saying it is easier than doing it.
It’s impossible to avoid toxic people all of the time, especially if they’re in your social circle. Standing up to certain family members or coworkers can often be difficult. If this is the case, there are still viable options for dealing with them.
Here are some suggestions:
- Define your limits. Be succinct and clear. Make it clear to the person that you have boundaries and will not tolerate improper treatment.
- Prepare your answers ahead of time. This can assist you in remaining cool and may lessen your chances of being triggered in the moment.
- Have a heart-to-heart conversation. It’s possible that those that make you feel horrible are unaware of the harm they’re doing.Tell them how you feel about what they’ve done. Perhaps they’ll apologise and make amends. But even if you don’t succeed, you’ll know you tried.
- On social media, block or mute them. They won’t be able to contact you or see what you’re up to as a result of this.
Consider going to therapy
If treatment is a possibility for you, you can try cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which has been demonstrated to help with negative body image problems.
CBT can assist you in identifying and replacing negative thought patterns with good ones. It can also assist you in getting to the base of your emotions, which can be really beneficial.
Medications may be used
In the pharmaceuticals game, there’s no such thing as shame! Some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be administered to treat body image concerns, according to research from 2008.
Keep in mind, though, that medications aren’t for everyone. You should discuss your symptoms with a healthcare expert in an open and honest manner. They can advise you on which medications or therapies will be most effective for your specific needs.
Participate in frequent physical activity
Working out benefits your body and mind in a variety of ways.
A consistent fitness routine can promote your self-esteem, and cardio can aid increase endorphin production, which can improve your mood.
In fact, a review of literature published in 2019 indicated that aerobic exercise has antidepressant properties.
What causes problems with one’s body image?
Body image concerns, once again, aren’t a one-size-fits-all situation. However, there are a few common elements that can play a role.
The following factors can contribute to a negative body image:
having a disproportionately high or low body weight in relation to your height
having been bullied or teased for your appearance as a youngster, being told you’re unattractive, ugly, too tiny, or too overweight, or having other physical characteristics criticised
media messages (including social media) that make you feel awful about your appearance
Body dysmorphic disorder can manifest itself as a negative body image (BDD). This is a mental health problem characterised by excessive attention to perceived defects in one’s appearance. It usually occurs during puberty, but it can also affect adults.
Who is the most vulnerable to body image issues?
A bad self-image can strike anyone at any time in their lives.
It’s possible that it’s more common among LGBTQIA+ people. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to suffer from disordered eating and have a negative body image.
Furthermore, some study suggests that people who are born male are socially conditioned to manage with body insecurities better than those who are born feminine. However, we need a lot more research to fully comprehend this.