Most of us experience negative script in our head; “I wish my arms were thinner” or “I don’t like my nose”. For some of us, these critical comments float right on by, and we give them no further importance or attention. For others, we cling onto these thoughts and soon enough, they grow into our self-esteem, our self-perception, and our overall self-image. Psych Central claims that 80% of women in the United States are dissatisfied with their appearance, and more than 10 million are experiencing eating disorders.
Our negative self-talk can be detrimental to our mental, physical, and spiritual health, and here’s why: Body hate can hold you back from attending events, can consume your thoughts to the point of no longer enjoying the present moment, and can damage critical aspects of your relationships with others, such as intimacy with your significant other. If you are experiencing body hate, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is truly dissatisfied with your body? Do you feel this way or are other people, like a friend or family member, telling you this? Identifying the difference between who is generating these thoughts can help you separate them and then focus on either the relationship or making healthier choices to feel better about yourself.
- What is fueling your dissatisfaction? If you’re focusing on celebrities, fashion magazines, and/or movies that depict unrealistic body standards, recognize that you’re placing too high of expectations on yourself. Most people don’t truly look 100% “perfect”. We all have flaws, and movies/magazines often airbrush those flaws out.
- What are your strengths? Do you have strong arms? Head to the gym to keep it up. Are you a great singer? Join a choir or singing group to showcase your skills.
- What can you do to feel better today? Dress in clothing that makes you feel great about yourself. Treat yourself to a nice sleep, a healthy breakfast, a pleasant morning walk, and then head to the spa if you can. Do something nice for yourself.
In its simplest form, body hate, and negative self-talk can further perpetuate symptoms of mental illness. Mental illness can affect every aspect of our lives, so seeking treatment is important. If you can catch your inner critic ahead of time, you can prevent yourself from spiraling down and letting it take control over your life.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment center. Our licensed, experienced health care team truly cares about your recovery and will work with you to develop tools to overcome your challenges and better manage your symptoms. Make the decision to seek help today, and call us at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.