Your Relationship with Your Body

Body Image Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

This year’s theme is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

What’s the relationship you have with your body?

Do you love, hate or have mixed feelings about your body?

Do you find yourself constantly looking in the mirror – wishing you were smaller or bigger, or you had or didn’t have certain physical features?

Do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with the way you look, and do your feelings about your appearance impact the way you relate to others?

If these questions bring up strong and conflicting thoughts and feelings, then it may be time to pay careful attention to how you relate to your body.

How you think and feel about your body affects your mental health.

The Mental Health Foundation conducted a study last year and recently published a body image report.

Here is a summary of their findings as seen on their website:

  • one in eight adults in the UK have experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image
  • one third of UK adults have felt anxious (34 per cent), or depressed (35 per cent) because of concerns about their body image
  • one in five UK adults (19 per cent) have felt “disgusted” because of their body image and one in five (20 per cent) said they had felt “shame” because of their body image in the last year
  • one in ten women (10 per cent) saying they have self-harmed or “deliberately hurt themselves” because of their body image, compared to 4 per cent of men
  • a quarter of men (25 per cent) saying they have felt depressed because of concerns about their body image
  • one in five people (20 per cent) aged 55 and above have said they have felt anxious because of their body image
  • one in five (22 per cent) of all UK adults and almost half (46 per cent) of 18-24 year olds said images on social media had caused them to worry about their body image
  • six in ten UK adults (59 per cent) think the UK Government needs to do more to protect the public from the presentation or use of unhealthy body images in advertising and social media

The big takeaway message is that body image issues affect everyone at any time – regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and sexuality.

Sometimes it takes a national campaign or movement to help us pause and think about how we may be personally affected.

If you feel affected body image issues and are looking for mental health support, I can help.

Get started with a free 20 minute phone consultation. Let’s chat.

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Please note that this blog is meant to be educational and should not be a substitute for therapy.

If you would like to enquire about therapy, please contact me or book an appointment:

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