Body image is an individual’s personal perception of their physical SELF. This perception of yourself may involve genuine self-knowledge or varying degrees of distortion. What you see, think, and feel about your body can lend to your perception of your SELF which can affect your self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-worth. Your body deserves your unconditional love.
There are four aspects of Body Image and of course they are interrelated and interconnected.
Perceptual Self-Image: How you see yourself, your physical body.
The way you see yourself is not always what others see. You may see yourself in a negative light and have the need to want to change your appearance.
Cognitive Self-Image: The thoughts and beliefs you have about your body.
You may have certain ‘distorted’ thinking when it comes to your body’s shape and size and other perceived flaws. You may have an inner voice that is not so kind which allows negative thoughts or distorted thinking come through.
Affective Self-Image: The feelings and emotions that come up about your body.
As a ‘feeling’ species what you feel about our bodies is important. At times we may feel that we do not measure up to others.
Behavioral Self-Image: The way you treat or body
Because we do not have a positive body image, we tend to manipulate our bodies in ways that can sometimes hurt us such as overeating or not eating or excessive exercise or other self-destructive manner.
HOW DO WE DEVELOP OUR BODY/SELF-IMAGE?
Body Image issues can start in adolescence and stay with you into adulthood. Environmental influences can play a crucial role in how we perceive our bodies and how we develop our self-image. Our, family, friends, acquaintances, teachers, media; basically, everyone you interact with can have an impact on how you see and feel about yourself or your appearance. We can be bombarded with remarks, opinions, ideas, judgments that for some can cause an increased risk of body/self-image dissatisfaction. Negative feelings and distorted thoughts about your body/self-image can have a damaging impact on your psychological and physical well-being.
You have the power to change you see, think, and feel about yourself. Embrace and love your body, it is the most amazing thing you will ever own.
TIPS TO HELP YOU LOVE YOUR BODY, MIND AND SOUL FROM THE INSIDE OUT
- Practice body-gratefulness by appreciating everything your body does for you
- Focus on all your positive qualities and attributes
- See yourself as a ‘Whole’ Person
- Keep a Positive Self-Image Journal
- Meditate and Practice Self-Compassion and kindness towards yourself
- Challenge your negative inner voice by practicing positive body affirmations
- Do NOT compare yourself to others
- Set healthy and positive goals for eating and exercising
- Surround yourself with other body positive family and friends
- Seek professional help if you are struggling mentally or emotionally.
Nourish Wellness therapists provide treatment for the whole person; mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We use integrative practices in every session. Nourish Wellness offers ongoing Guided Breath and Guided Imagery Meditation Sessions, Therapeutic Support Groups, Workshops and Webinars. Please visit our website for details and additional resources.