A positive body image will boost mental health

 A happy young woman. (Courtesy)

In a society bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards, embracing and loving our bodies becomes an empowering journey towards holistic well-being. True wellness encompasses physical, mental and emotional health, and it begins with cultivating a positive relationship with our bodies.

Studies have shown that body acceptance plays a significant role in overall well-being. Research published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology showed that individuals who practice self-acceptance and have positive body image experience higher levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction and happiness. By embracing our bodies, we foster a healthier mindset that positively impacts our mental and emotional health.

Negative body image can have detrimental effects on mental health, according to research published in the Journal of Health Psychology. The study showed that poor body image is associated with increased levels of depression, anxiety and unhealthy eating habits. On the other hand, a positive body image correlates with higher levels of self-esteem and reduced risk of mental health disorders.

Body acceptance contributes to healthier behaviours and overall physical well-being. According to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, individuals who have a positive body image are more likely to engage in regular physical activity, adopt balanced eating habits and have better self-care practices.

If you even think about it, by embracing your body you are more likely to prioritise care and that boils down to even what you eat, what you allow yourself to see and hear. Data highlights the need to challenge unrealistic beauty standards and redefine our perception of beauty.

Research from the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence report reveals that only four per cent of women around the world consider themselves to be beautiful, indicating a widespread struggle with body dissatisfaction. By accepting our body and celebrating diversity, we actively contribute to a culture of inclusivity and self-acceptance, empowering ourselves and others to break free from societal beauty norms.

Practising self-care rituals, engaging in activities you enjoy and treating yourself with kindness allows you to build a positive relationship with your body. This may not always be easy especially if there are certain things you do not like about yourself. If that is the case, change it.

And if you cannot change it, learn to live with it. Some counselling may help in this situation. Being intentional about loving your body and yourself will have a much better impact on your wellness.


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