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Body image refers to how an individual perceives, thinks, and feels about his or her own body. Negative body image develops most often in early childhood, with 50 percent of pre-adolescent girls and 30 percent of pre-adolescent boys stating they dislike their bodies. A negative body image perception can be quite dangerous, leading to many possible long- and short-term consequences. Research has shown, for example, that a negative body image is one of the strongest predictors for the development of an eating disorder. Eating disorders are complex psychological conditions that are characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) specifically defines eating disorders as “serious medical illnesses marked by severe disturbances to a person’s eating behavior.” There are different types of eating disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders.

How To Overcome Negative Thoughts

While everyone experiences negative thoughts or feeling about their body from time to time, overcoming negative body image and thoughts related to eating disorders can be a particularly challenging process. To help adopt a healthier body image, consider the following tips, provided by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA):

  • Be kind to yourself: Practicing positive self-talk, for example, encourages self-confidence, effective coping, achievement, and a general feeling of well-being. Select a few affirmations, or positive statements about your body and repeat them regularly. Avoid self-criticism, treat yourself with respect, and shift your internal dialogue to replace negative self-talk with more positive and realistic statements.
  • Strengthen social connections: Build a robust support network that includes people who understand and support your journey towards a healthier body image. Surrounding yourself with positive influences can help reinforce a healthier mindset.
  • Focus on your health rather than your appearance: Shift your focus from appearance-related goals to overall health and well-being. Engage in activities (e.g., regular exercise, nutritious eating, self-care practices, ample sleep, etc.) that promote physical and mental well-being.
  • Set realistic goals: While there are benefits to aiming high, it is advantageous to start small. Unattainable goals, like striving for perfection in terms of appearance or body shape, only set you up for failure. Instead, set realistic and attainable goals related to overall health, well-being, and self-acceptance.

It is important to bear in mind that change takes time, and shifting negative thought patterns is a process that is not always linear. However, with ample support, effective strategies, and patience, it is possible for you to cultivate a healthier and more positive relationship with your body.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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