We all have moments in our lives when we dislike certain parts of our bodies. There are times when we might find ourselves wishing that we were taller or slimmer, or maybe think we would look better if we had a pointier nose or clearer skin. For some people, these thoughts are so powerful that their everyday lives are affected.
These thoughts are signs of an unhealthy body image. Sadly, many people have a negative attitude towards their bodies that even their sense of worth is affected. This article will probe how counseling can help you fight body image issues and build a healthier body image for yourself.
What Is Body Image?
Body image refers to a person’s mental image of themselves and their attitude toward their body. A person’s body image can change over time. This perception can be affected by various factors, such as social media, traditional culture, and societal expectations. Sometimes, the people surrounding a person and the environment they’re situated in can also influence the way they see themselves.
Many people have things they don’t like about their physical appearance. In most cases, these perceived flaws have little impact on a person’s sense of self. These kinds of people have a positive body image.
However, some people feel deep shame and disgust with their appearance. These people have a negative or unhealthy body image. Having a negative body image affects a person’s self-confidence and self-worth. They may see themselves as inferior to others because of their physical flaws.
The Role Of Counseling In Fighting Body Image Issues
Body image issues are not shallow troubles. These can affect a person’s mental health, confidence, and overall well-being. Many people who suffer from body image issues could develop social anxiety and depression. Their ability to create connections and maintain relationships with others might also be affected.
There are ways to combat debilitating body image issues, and one of these is through counseling. Here’s how counseling can help people celebrate their individuality.
Through counseling, a person is taught to practice self-compassion. Many feel bad about themselves because they fail to fit in the mold made by society. They might want to change their complexion, straighten their hair, or even apply layers upon layers of beauty products to meet the societal standard.
Being self-compassionate means that you can understand that everyone has their flaws. More so, these flaws don’t define a person or lessen their worth. Practicing self-compassion leads a person to be kind to themselves and transform their suffering into acceptance and love.
Counseling sessions can make a person realize that they’re under no obligation to fit society’s arbitrary standards. More importantly, your physical appearance should not be the basis for your overall worth as a human being.
There’s No Such Thing As A Perfect Person
Society and culture imbibed in us the concept of a perfect person. Unknowingly, many of us want to look like that perfect person. The rise of various social media platforms has added to the belief that a specific body is superior to others. However, the concept of a perfect person is unrealistic, and devoting yourself to this belief is outright unhealthy.
Through counseling, you’re able to modify your thoughts and fight perceptions of what a perfect person should look like. The goal of counseling sessions is to help you transform your negative body image into positive ones.
To do that, you first need to remove unrealistic beliefs about your body. When you finally remove the unrealistic expectations you have with your body, you can start to see your body more positively.
Appreciate Yourself More
When a person is troubled with body image issues, they fail to see the good things about themselves. Instead, they focus their attention on what they lack and how flawed they appear to others. This may lead them to believe that they are less worthy of appreciation and love from others.
Counseling can help people with body image issues to recalibrate their thinking and start appreciating their bodies more. A counselor may engage you to list down the things you like about yourself. It may be about different parts of your body you like the most. The list can also include qualities that have nothing to do with your looks, such as your intelligence, talents, or humor.
These things will act as an anchor that can help you appreciate yourself more. Every time you feel troubled about what you look like, you can always go back to these things and remind yourself that you have many desirable qualities.
Be Comfortable With Your Insecurities
Body image issues may be addressed first by opening up and becoming comfortable with your insecurities. This is nowhere near easy because being honest about your insecurities demands you to be vulnerable. However, being able to speak about your body image issues allows you to talk with other people.
When you talk about your problems with other people, you’ll feel less isolated. You’ll realize that other people are experiencing the same troubles that you’re going through. This opens up a safe space for conversations.
Counseling sessions are considered a safe space for everyone. You can freely talk about your feelings and insecurities without any fear of judgment. Talking with someone lessens the load you bear and can make you see yourself better.
Accepting your body and appearance is at the core of having a positive body image. Those comfortable and accepting of their bodies can overcome their insecurities and focus more on their fully appreciate qualities.
However, developing a positive body image is a process, and many people still struggle with body image issues. Luckily, counseling is beneficial in helping people with body image issues to be comfortable with their looks. With the aid of a counselor, those struggling can find ways to address their issues, resolve these issues, and be more confident and comfortable with their own skin.
Counseling can help you regain your confidence in your own body and abilities. Body positivity will only make you stronger and might help you appreciate yourself. Confidence in every single aspect of yourself is one of the better ways to love yourself.