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Challenge your Mindset

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How to feel body confident

body-confident

It’s hard to dictate to someone how to be body confident, but there’s more than enough reason to help people at least feel it. Body image as an affliction is a long-term problem which takes time to solve. Often co-morbid with other medical disorders and conditions like depression, OCDs or eating disorders, body dysmorphia and its more serious disorder can preoccupy a person so much it inhibits their life.

Internalisation

Such an extreme lack of confidence in your body image is often triggered by external influences. [7 reasons why we lose our confidence] Social views and standards on body image gradually get internalised by the body dysmorphic until they are convinced their hang ups are truths, rather than opinions. Known in sociological literature as ‘gaze’, the overriding view on a certain part of society, through which majority groups can objectify or ostracise others with, can have a damaging effect on people, and body image is one of those parts. Being body confident is not simply a process of buying a nice outfit, or getting a new haircut. It’s not the body that needs the makeover, because confidence is mental, not physical. The side effects of body dysmorphia destructive rather than constructive behaviours. The person will hurt themselves as punishment, instead of trying to improve themselves.

Perfection

Body dysmorphia develops into a long-term condition with relative ease. It relies on self-deception; believing your body to be something rather than seeing it as it is. The fantasy element to body dysmorphia means it is rooted in a quest for perfection. The body dysmorphic will pick apart their looks no matter how good looking they might be to others because they are trained to think pessimistically. They focus so much on what is wrong, they can’t see what is right.

How to help

It is important for those suffering to seek medical attention as soon as possible.However,if you have a friend who is suffering, you can play your part. Do your best to distract them from the body. Never talk about anything to do with looks or image when you’re with them and be aware of what their dysmorphia is co-morbid with, e.g. don’t try to distract an anorexic with anything to do with food. Encourage them to think about other topics, it can be as trivial as what’s on television to more engaging topics like their family, their job or what’s happening around the world or in politics. Since their problem has been caused due to internalising social expectations, they will be hypersensitive to anything with a social relation. Use it to your advantage to subtly show the person there is more to society and living than looking good. To help further, praise their achievements, from charity work to promotions to an ongoing project or hobby, to increase their self-worth. [31 ways to increase your self-worth]

If you are struggling from a lack of confidence generally join our site for empowering videos, ebooks, daily planners and a community.

Body image has become a major part of our lives in a debatably more vain and narcissistic era. We willingly follow the beauty secrets of the stars and find validation in people liking our pictures on social media. It is possible this phase will pass, but in the meantime, do your best to not let it overtake you or those closest to you.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.