Research shows that many American women (and men!) have a negative body image. But what is body image and why is it important? Body image is perceptual, subjective, and often emotional. It is the way you think about your body, your perception of what you look like, how you feel in your skin, and how you imagine that others view you.
Negative body image is a serious concern as it places us at risk for mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders, and anxiety. This is because how we perceive and judge ourselves impacts almost every aspect of our lives. For example, if we do not have a healthy sense of value or self-worth, we will have difficulty reaching our full potential. Romantic relationships, as well as academic and professional performance, all can be negatively affected. If looking into a mirror makes you feel unhappy or you are experiencing negative self-judgment, therapy for negative body image can help.
Mental health and body image
Our body image, self-esteem, and mental health are all connected and each influences the other in complex ways. The relationship between mental health and body image is complicated. For many of us, our feelings about our body and self-worth are tied to early life experiences, our thought processes, societal pressure and standards, and much more.
Interestingly, the relationship between body image and self-esteem is not direct, meaning that even if we have a body that fits the “ideal standard” of beauty, this may not necessarily equate to positive body image. This is because our perception of our body is influenced by self-esteem as well as various emotional factors. If our self-esteem is not healthy, we likely won’t perceive our body in a positive way, no matter our weight, size, or health status.
Develop a healthy body image and self-esteem
In the past, health care providers only focused on losing weight or cosmetic approaches to address negative body image. Now, however, we know that our bodies, minds, and emotions are connected. In order to heal one, we need to address all three. If you are struggling with negative body image, please know that help is available; there are many things you can do to improve your relationship with yourself!
In psychotherapy, a psychologist like Dr. Farrah Hauke can help you discover the root cause of low confidence and negative body image. From there, specific steps can be taken to begin healing and feeling better and more confident. Developing a healthy body image and self-esteem is an important, healthy, and noble goal. This is possible and important at any age.
Reach out today
If you would like to learn more, please call Dr. Hauke’s office or fill out the contact form and click Send. It’s time to take control of your life and finally feel good about who you are! Dr. Farrah Hauke, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. She provides coaching, counseling, and evaluation services to adolescents (12 and older) and adults of all ages.Please like and share this post!