Social media platforms – we just can't get enough of them! Photos of holidays, weekends away or the latest big shopping spree, social media is full of images of apparently perfect lives. It’s also impossible to avoid the many images of the ‘perfect selfie’ or that beach body many aspire to.
We live in a 'perceived reality' where we're constantly bombarded by images of physical perfection through social media, film, TV and advertising, which can lead to us having an unhealthy body image.
Body image involves our perception, imagination and most crucially, our emotions and feelings about our bodies. The age of airbrushing and showcasing the ‘perfect life’ can lead us to believe we will never achieve physical perfection or even come close, no matter how hard we try. These emotions can have a negative impact on our wellbeing, eventually leading to eating disorders, anxiety or even depression.1
There's absolutely nothing wrong with having high standards, but being excessively self-critical can create problems. But is it really true – is anybody’s life really perfect?
If you find yourself endlessly obsessing over your social media posts, looking for the perfect angle, hashtag or witty remark, it might be time to step back from social media and realise what's really important.
To understand how you feel about your body, first think about these questions:
- how do you see or picture yourself?
- how do you 'feel' in your own skin?
Once answered, you can start to look at your perception of your own body image and hopefully get on your way to feeling more comfortable in your own skin! The key is to learn to love the skin you are in, and here are a few ideas on how to start:
Work towards ‘self-acceptance’
Live in the moment; each day write down 3 good things you are thankful for that day – this could be anything from having a good circle of friends, to a job you enjoy, to not being stuck in traffic on your way home!
List your 'non-physical' best features
Are you kind? Good natured? Generous with your time? These qualities make you the person you are and sometimes we need to remind ourselves how great we really are!
Try to be active
Endorphins (or the ‘happy hormone’) are released during exercise, these chemicals interact with the brain and reduce the perception of pain. Starting slow and building up to 2.5 hours of exercise over the course of a week; exercising can help improve mood and self-esteem.2
Change your 'physiology'
In other words, change the way you physically present yourself. If your head is down and shoulders are slumped, stand up tall, take a deep breath and pull your shoulders back. Try doing this right now and see how your confidence changes in an instant.
Be the real you
Try not to restrict your behaviour just so others will like you. Be who you truly are and do it often. Over time your natural behaviour will draw in people who like you for who you are and what you want to succeed in.
Look outside of the screen
Broaden your horizons – put your phone, tablet or laptop down and spend time more constructively; on your favourite hobby, in the great outdoors and with loved ones.
To find out more about how a cash plan from Sovereign can benefit both your physical and mental wellbeing, visit sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/good-all-round