This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the main focus is on body image. But why do we put so much focus on body image today? And what can we do to lessen doing that?
….. be kind to yourself ……… believe in yourself …..
According to statistics gathered by the charity and polling website You Gov. the way we feel about our body and our looks is impacting our mental health. Feeling unhappy about our body image can lead to issues with anxiety and depression, as well as eating orders, for example bulimia and anorexia nervosa.
Julie is a 28 year old female who came to see me for confidence issues. She is bright, articulate, creative and loving; put simply, a lovely person to be around. So it was really scary to me when she pointed out all the defects she had with her body image. The reality was, I hadn’t seen any of the issues she focused on.
And to me they just weren’t there! “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and I beheld the good.
The reality is, we never really see ourselves the way others see us, and the story we create for ourselves can be quite dangerous and debilitating. OCD, bulimia, and anorexia nervosas are all examples of how this negative reality can have major impact on our lives.
Around 25 per cent of those affected by an eating disorder are male.
The jury is still out on the long term effects that social media has on our self-image, but it’s not difficult to connect the rise in anxiety and low self-worth with scrolling through social media and seeing everyone looking their best.
Beat, an eating disorder charity, says approximately 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder. Around 25 per cent of those affected by an eating disorder are male.
Sarb Bajwa, chief executive of The British Psychological Society said body image is a “policy priority” in 2019. He said: “Body image is an important subject – not least for children and young people, whose well-being is the society’s policy priority for 2019. “Worries about how we look can impact our self-esteem and confidence, and the media has a strong influence on what we think a ‘normal’ body looks like.” In reality we know real life is very, very different.
The good news is that by using ‘Cognitive Hypnotherapy’ – as Julie did to start the change in her story – we realise we are all perfect in being who we are. Self-acceptance is key in life; accepting ourselves for who we are, and what we represent to the world. We are all doing the very best with everything we have available, and that’s great!
So how do you achieve self-acceptance? Here are a few suggestions –
- Be kind to yourself.
- Confront your fears.
- Stay positive.
- Accept imperfection.
- Don’t take it personally.
- Believe in yourself.
- Don’t give up, no matter what.
So get out there and enjoy being you! You are the best and only version of you in the world; so why not get out there and enjoy being you!
Using Cognitive Hypnotherapy and other therapeutic techniques Rob Donnelly helps people think and feel differently about themselves – and their body image!