The term “body image” refers to an individual’s impression of their physical self. A person’s treatment of their body is closely related to how they perceive or feel in their body. It’s not easy being a human in this world, and in today’s social media-driven culture, people must adhere to a universally accepted standard of beauty.
Every day, we see influential people and speculate about their lives. All the while, we secretly wish that we had their gifts. Unfortunately,
we tend to underestimate the detrimental impacts of self-criticism on our emotional and physical well-being. That’s why it’s important to know if beauty standards are starting to negatively affect your mental health.
It’s more common for women than men to have low self-esteem about their appearance. However, both sexes are bombarded with pictures of perfect bodies throughout their lives. People are exposed to unrealistic beauty standards in the media and advertisements. Because of the widespread use of social media and filters.
these photos are continually being viewed by a large audience. In an effort to conform to these unrealistic ideals of beauty, some people may resort to costly cosmetic operations, such as plastic surgery or fillers. As a result, they develop an unfavorable mental picture of their bodies. In a way, obsessing over their bodies becomes a sort of addiction.
All of this often leads to emotional issues, including low self-worth, sadness, and anxiety. However, those sometimes turn into more severe issues like eating disorders or even substance abuse.
These devastating issues people experience can affect their relationships, both romantic and platonic. To put it bluntly, all of them are terrible for one’s mental health.
Negative body image has more serious consequences than merely disliking one’s appearance in a swimsuit. Having an abnormal self-perception and constantly comparing oneself to others might contribute to mental illness.
The Following Mental Illnesses are Linked to a Poor Perception of One’s Physical Self:
- Binge eating
- Body dysmorphia
Furthermore, some people might turn to substance abuse to cope. Those can range from laxative overuse to more severe drugs like cocaine, heroin, etc. In fact, many people requiring heroin detox that decided to reach out to professionals report mental health issues related to body image.
They also state that turning to heroin and similar substances was a way to reach that “perfect and skinny” image of themselves. However, as with all substance abuse, it ended up doing their bodies more harm than good. So, the importance of these issues can’t be underestimated.
How to Tell if you’re at Risk
Since social media is everywhere around us, sometimes it’s hard to tell how it’s influencing us. Here are the telltale signs that beauty standards are starting to negatively affect your mental health.
Your anxiety gets worse when you use social media
The constant exposure to social media and beauty standards on them has been linked to increased anxiety, sadness, and loneliness.
Anxiety and depression symptoms can develop alongside excessive social media use and emotional dependence on the sites.
So, if your anxiety worsens when looking at impossibly beautiful people online, it would be best to put the phone down and focus on something else.
You’re losing sleep
If your worries about beauty standards are causing you sleepless nights, you have a problem. Furthermore, if you have insomnia or are struggling to get rest, it can negatively affect your daily life. It’s a bad habit if you can’t put your phone down at the end of the day or if you wake up many times during the night to check it.
You’re plagued by feelings of inadequacy
Interaction, in the form of likes and comments, is highly valued on social media. It’s rewarding to see a lot of people responding to your posts. However,
what do you do if your videos or photos don’t receive the attention you hoped for? You could feel disappointed when you don’t get the social media affirmation you hoped for.
Having a negative sense of self-worth due to social media comparisons is a problem. With filters that even out skin tone and enlarge eyes, shrink waists, and give the hair more volume, it’s impossible to have a realistic beauty standard. Exposure to this kind of content can cause “body surveillance,” or excessive and critical monitoring of one’s body.
As mentioned above, this is also something that could cause an addiction problem. As addiction recovery experts at Archstone Behavioral Health advise, pay attention to how consuming certain social media content influences your habits. If you start feeling obsessive about these things, seek help from professionals or people you trust.
You’re avoiding face-to-face contact
You could be losing out on a vital element of maintaining good social relationships if you’re spending more time browsing online posts instead of seeing friends and family in person. You may find yourself spending less time with real people and more time comparing yourself to others on social media. If that is the case.
It may be time to evaluate whether or not your online activity is becoming toxic. If you want to beat your addiction to social media, you should turn to real-life interactions. Turn to someone you can trust, and it will significantly benefit you.
It’s not true that using social media is always a terrible thing. Plus, it’s perfectly OK to utilize technology in a way that enhances rather than detracts from your daily routine. Consider implementing these strategies to strike a balance between your time spent on social media and your emotional well-being.
- Reduce your social media use. Be mindful of how much time you spend on social media if you believe doing so might harm your mental health.
- Avoid using social media first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Replace anything that may put a damper on your day with something you look forward to doing instead.
- Consider your motivations before clicking the “Log In” button. This will assist you in shifting your attention away from social media and toward more productive pursuits.
- Hang out face to face. Social media may be great for keeping in touch with people, but it may also make you feel isolated. Especially if you’re not receiving what you want from the online group. Face-to-face interaction and quality time together are incomparable to the convenience of social media. Take your time. It takes time and effort to develop a healthy body image. Try to be gentle with yourself as you work to expand your awareness of who you are beyond the physical form you inhabit.
Understanding if beauty standards are starting to negatively affect your mental health is important. Seeing a therapist can help you get ahead of these sentiments,
and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with the help of your doctor is essential. It is possible to overcome negative self-perception and live a happy and successful life with the physique you have.