Your relationship with your body is impacted by not only the way that you experience your body, but by your perceptions of how other people experience your body. The way that you feel about your body can have a strong impact on your self-worth and on your relationships with others. Some signs that your perceptions of your body are impacting you may include body image related isolation, feelings of self-consciousness or shame, and changing your behavior due to feeling insecure about your body.
When you are dissatisfied with your body it can be easy to focus on ways that you can change your appearance or alter your body. However the belief that changing your appearance can “fix” issues reinforces the idea that your body is “wrong” or “not good enough” and leave you chasing an ideal of perfection that isn’t attainable. This cycle leads to disconnection and discontentment. The more you strive to change or fix your body, the more you start to lose touch with who you are. Therapy can help you to identify the root cause of your body image distress and begin creating a healthy relationship with your body.
When thinking about whether or not body image distress is something that impacts you, consider the following questions:
Do I avoid situations or experiences due to concerns about my appearance?
How often does my body image get in the way of my ability to enjoy my life?
Does my body image get in the way of my ability to take care of myself?
Do I find that my body image is impacting my mood or my stress level?
Do I spent more time, money, or energy that I would like on trying to “fix” my appearance?
Does the way that I feel about my body impact the way that I am eating or exercising?
Is my body image impacting the way I feel about myself?
Is my body image impacting my relationships with others?
Do I avoid intimate situations due to the way I feel about my body?