With social media we have so much access to people and their lives. We get to see other’s lives through pictures and videos, but when we see all of this we start to compare ourselves. We cannot forget that only see other’s highlight reel. We only get to see the outside not the inside. But when we see the highlights of others lives we tend to think that if we only looked a certain way we would find happiness.
I work with my clients to practice mindfulness. We learn how to relax the body. I teach my clients to pay attention to their body and identify how the body feels. We learn to use the body to communicate feelings. This is wonderful. But I have seen this practice of focusing on the body swing in a negative direction.
When you are interested in self-improvement and body awareness there is a tendency to focus on the body. You start to identify and focus on parts of your body that feel uncomfortable. When you feel embarrassed and uncomfortable about your body you communicate to your brain that you have problem and something is wrong.
Your mind and your body are very closely connected. They are in constant communication with each other. When you focus on the parts of your body that feel “fat” or uncomfortable or you focus on parts of your body that make you unhappy you send a message to the brain that something is wrong.
When you body and your mind communicate something is wrong you BELIEVE something is wrong. You then start looking for information to support the belief that something is wrong so you focus even more on the part of the body that makes you feel uncomfortable. When you think and feel this way it is hard to challenge negative thoughts with more positive thoughts.
So in order to improve your body image, relax your body. When your body is relaxed you can tell the brain, “Hey we are OK here”. This is when you can challenge negative thinking with more positive and helpful thinking.
So try it! Relax your body. How does this change how you think about yourself and your body? Did it help you feel better about your body? I would love to hear.