The Body Image Test - How to feel Awesome
Do you have body image issues? Are you overly invested in body image?
Our free test will measure your investment in body image and will reveal if you have a healthy relationship or one which may require attention.
When is body image an issue?
Our body image, the mental representation we hold of our physical self is constructed by both our memories and current sensations in a part of our brain known as the superior parietal lobe. Body image is a contributor to our overall identity and we're learning it is impacted by in an increasingly wide variety of factors like mood, environment and confidence. Having a healthy body image is not the same thing as having a healthy body. You may have both an issue with health and an issue with body image. Generally body image is an issue when:
- It plays too big a contributor to our overall sense of identity
- Our body image is warped and does not reflect our physical selves (body dysmorphic disorder)
- We believe part of our body is malfunctioning (somatic delusional disorder)
- We believe a limb is not our own (body integrity identity disorder)
How body image disorders impact our lives
Few disorders have as lasting and constant an impact on our lives. It's a disorder present 24hrs a day and has a major impact on the quality of our life. Below are just a few of the researched effects:
- Hurts our relationships
- Lowers self esteem
- Leads to eating disorders
- Lowers Satisfaction with Life
Studies have shown that our body image issues impact our perception of our partners and leads to lower relationship and sexual satisfaction.
Maintaining an impossible body image leads to lower self esteem, self devaluation and increases the risk of depression.
Research has shown people exposed to images of thin body types are more likely to develop eating disorders. Bulimia and anorexia are both complex issues with roots in body image but not all eating disorders are this extreme. Long fasts and binge eating
It's difficult to experience happiness when you're unhappy with the body you're experiencing it in. A study of 140 women showed that lower body satisfaction leads to lower life satisfaction.
Improve your body image and feel awesome
My thighs are terrible, my nose is huge, my hair is too curly. These are voices many of us hear when looking at ourselves and they're not always accurate. For the majority of people dealing with body image involves dealing with patterns of thought, something we can change. The following are simple things you can do to improve your body image.
- Avoid Negative Self Talk
- Fewer magazines
- Laugh at advertising
- Eliminate Teasing
- More Instagram and Facebook
- Improve your self esteem
- Feel good first, then get healthy
Body image research has shown that people with a high level of internal awareness tend to have more accurate body image perceptions. Internal awareness, or mindfulness is the ability to be aware of your own physical state, whether you're anxious, tired or stressed. Scientist test for internal awareness by asking people to count their heartbeats (without any measuring devices of course). If you're close to the actual number you have a high level of internal awareness. Fortunately our level of internal awareness is something we can train with regular mindfulness meditation.
When describing your body use positive language. A negative voice is likely to reduce motivation and increases your chances of developing body image issues.
The science is in and it's conclusive. The impossibly beautiful bodies displayed in advertising and the media make us feel less satisfied with our bodies and it affects both men and woman.
The airbrushed bodies lower our self esteem and at the same time promise immediate relief with 2 minute abs as soon as we hand over our cash.
It's no surprise to learn numerous studies have demonstrated a strong connection between teasing and body image. No one but you deserves to influence how you feel about your body. Teasing takes many forms, an overly aggressive personal trainer, feedback from someone with body image issues or a judgemental parent.
Psyschologist are excited at the prospect of 'real life' photography impacting our body image perceptions. Imagine a world in which you and your friends formed the ideas we have for average and ideal body types, not a graphic artist and model with an anorexic BMI.
In a controlled study by Latrobe University self esteem education had the most significant impact in improving body image perception
There are strong connections between poor body image and obesity. In a 2006 study of 136 individuals, those with a poor body image did not maintain long term weight loss. The only participants which did manage to lose the weight were those that found intrinsic motivations to exercise. In other words, they found exercises which were interesting and enjoyable. The takeout, to motivate yourself into fitness create a healthy lifestyle which you'd follow even if there were no health benefits. Motivation built on tearing yourself down will not last and is counterproductive.
You are strongly invested in your appearance and feel like you need to look good to feel good. You tend to be somewhat of an emotional person and care very much about how people see you. If something occurs that makes you feel unattractive it can make you feel stressed and fatigued. Your health is extremely important to you and if you feel like you are not 100% it can effect you quite strongly and create stress and fatigue.