Body Image and Our Self-Esteem
Hands up if you want a different body or you want to change something about yourself? You definitely won’t be alone because more and more these days, body image is becoming such an important role in our society depriving many of self-esteem, and inner self-confidence, and leaving feelings of insecurity, especially in social settings.
So, why do we all feel like this? The obvious answer is social media, of course. But how can that affect us emotionally?
Surely, we all know that most pictures posted on social media platforms have experienced some sort of enhancement whether it is Photoshop, filters, or some other enrichment to make a ‘perfect’ image. Yet still, we strive to be more like this ‘perfect’ image even though it isn’t physically true.
Many try to compare themselves or their lives to unreal things or people. Often comparing themselves to people whom they have never even met before. When you stand back and analyse this behaviour pattern, it is a bizarre concept that we want to be exactly like this ‘fake’ scenario, and then when we can’t achieve this we begin to self-sabotage ourselves.
On a positive note, I have been impressed with how social media is slowly making positive movements around images of larger, beautiful and content people whether it is male or female. Repeatedly advertising plus sizes showing the world it is ok to be bigger than a size four. But, this still beggars the question, why do we feel the need to compare?
Why do we feel the need to compare? It is essential human behaviour to compare oneself to others as this provides us with suggestions for self-improvement, but only if the comparison is done in a healthy and natural way as this can evaluates how well we are doing. It becomes harmful mentally and physically when feelings of deep dissatisfaction, guilt, or remorse are felt, as this is when behaviours such as lying or disordered eating raise their ugly heads.
Food can be used to mask a deep routed problem or trauma and until this is addressed, unfortunately, the subconscious keeps offering comforters such as food to help make us feel better. "Go on... just one piece of cake", or, "I will have just one more glass of wine, it won’t do me any harm." This behaviour may make you feel better in the short term but then it can instantly cause the opposite emotion of despair and disappointment.
This rollercoaster of diet by eating healthy, and then unhealthy is what becomes so harmful and the true issues, route cause, or problems are never addressed. I mentioned above, food can mask the real problem and until this is resolved unfortunately this roundabout will continue to go round and round.
It is important therefore to find out why this behaviour exists. Once this has been found it will then automatically allow you to find that healthy lifestyle and healthy diet you so long to have. Your subconscious will process and reframe your thoughts, behaviours, and actions.
Eating can quite often become a habit and many habits we don’t even consciously think about, they just happen. For example: when I see a spider I need to run away. Your subconscious helps or so it thinks it helps with habits and learnt behaviour, hence the need to sometimes reframe and create a new and more beneficial habit pattern that is of more use.
For some eating is used for other emotions other than hunger. One of the main reasons is stress, tiredness, or even when sad. Overeating can be a habit, where meals are eaten with distractions preventing the focus on how much you are eating and when you have had enough.
Reframing a habit pattern is easily achieved when dealing directly with the subconscious mind.
“You can’t eat the fruit the same day you plant the seed.” - Jay Shetty