Body Image Makes a Difference in Mental Wellness

HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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Wear clothes that make you feel good:

Dress in a way that flatters your figure. Choose colors that make you feel more confident.


Affirm positive thoughts:

When you hear negative voices in your head denegrating your body image, reframe those thoughts with positive ones. Remind yourself that you are a worthwhile person and you are taking good care of yourself.


Treat yourself:

Instead of listening to the voices in your head, become more in tune with your physical body and listen to its needs. Do you need more sleep? A relaxing bubble bath? A glass of cold water or an energizing walk outside?


Positive body image doesn’t happen immediately, but continuing these practices over time will help you reframe the way you view your body.

How do you feel when you look in the mirror? Do you feel confident and comfortable in your body or shameful and insecure? It’s easy to find flaws when you’re trying on new clothes or taking a serious look at your physique, but the way you perceive your body makes a huge difference in your mental health and the way you show up in the world. Height, shape, weight – all your physical features are under your own judgment, and your attitudes toward them make up your body image.


A positive body image means you have a clear and honest perception of your physique. You see your body as it is rather than labeling its parts good or bad. A person with a positive body image accepts her body’s shape and size and recognizes the separation between physical appearance and her character and value as a person.


Negative body image occurs when a person has a distorted perception of her physical nature. Someone with negative body image likely feels shame, anxiety and insecurity about her shape, size or features.


Having a healthy body image is an important part of mental wellness, but as we start internalizing messages about our bodies, it’s easy to develop a negative body image. This can lead to serious issues such as depression, low self-esteem and eating disorders. In fact, research shows body dissatisfaction is the most common contributor to developing anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

BODY IMAGE MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN MENTAL WELLNESS

MICHELLE CHALKEY

Michelle Chalkey is a Des Moines-based freelance writer specializing in health and lifestyle topics. She enjoys helping businesses communicate their messages through blogging and effective storytelling. Connect with Michelle on Facebook or check out her blog for helpful tips on the writing process and productivity.

more articles by michelle chalkey


If you have negative feelings about your looks, here are some healthier ways to think about your body:


Celebrate your body:

Take a moment to think about all the things you enjoy doing with your body, such as dancing, walking your dog, laughing, eating. Appreciate the way your body allows you to experience fun activities. The fact that your body is capable of such movement is a blessing in itself; not everyone is so fortunate.


Make a list of all the things you like about yourself:

This list shouldn’t be about your physical features. Instead, focus on the inner qualities you like about yourself. Read this list often and add to it as you come across new things.


Choose to be around positive people:

Surround yourself with people who are generally positive. Spend your time with people who build you up and accept you the way you are. Positive energy is infectious.