Do You Have a Positive Body Image?
In a culture that values thinness and appearance over inner values, it can be challenging to love and accept your body the way it is. Many people in our culture suffer from a distorted perception of their body. Have you ever felt too fat or too thin, only to find that others have a very different perception? These are examples of body image disorders.
Body image disorder is a belief that one’s body is unacceptable – something to be disparaged, hated and hidden. When these feelings interfere with social and/or occupational functioning, cause elevated levels of anxiety and depression, or the development of eating disorder behaviors, it’s time to seek professional help.
How Can I Love my Body From the Inside Out?
Research shows that talk therapy, especially cognitive therapy (also known as cognitive behavioral therapy), is the most effective way for people to overcome body image disorder. While therapy is the core element in recovering a positive body image, other treatments can help, including:
- Nutrition counseling can be vital for those who want to treat their body lovingly, and stop the cycle of deprivation and binge eating that come with the body-loathing, yo-yo dieting routine all too common in America.
- Exercise is also a great way to love and respect one’s body.
Tips From Top Experts
Tools recommended by top researchers in the field of body image treatment include the following:
- Create a self-assessment of how your negative body image developed
- Keep diaries about events that surround moments of body image dissatisfaction
- Relaxation training
- Desensitize yourself to body exposure through imagination and systematic desensitization
- Identify negative body image thoughts and begin the work of adjusting those errors in judgment
- Identify and challenge self-defeating and avoidant behaviors
- Develop new strategies to deal with difficult events and people that provoke negative body image
- Create and practice relapse prevention strategies, with a professional’s help
We can help you make peace with your body and love it from the inside out. Call the Body Image Therapy Center with offices in Central Maryland & DC at (240) 722-1014 today or CLICK HERE to contact our Intake Coordinator.