by Restorations Therapy Center on Tuesday, March 10th, 2020
It should come as no surprise that social media impacts the way we feel about our bodies. One glance at Instagram and it’s easy to conclude that everyone is more fit, tan, and good-looking than we are, and having more fun and living a better life than we are. Studies have validated that social media usage can impart a powerful influence on how we view and feel about our bodies.
For example, a 2005 study by researcher Renee Engeln-Maddox demonstrated that being shown only three images of very attractive females caused many participants to compare their bodies to those viewed online. As a result of the comparison, some women expressed dissatisfaction with their own appearance, especially as it related to weight. This is only one of many studies to show that a positive body image can be difficult to maintain, especially in the age of social media.
The good news is that researchers have also discovered powerful ways to create a positive body image. For starters, experts recommend, in fact, they strongly urge women not to give in to the social comparison trap. For one thing, much of what we see has been filtered, enhanced, or otherwise manipulated. In other words, there’s no guarantee that what you are seeing is real, further underscoring the futility of comparisons. This advice is especially true if you are overweight. If you are not in your ideal weight range you’re not alone, even though it may seem like that based on social media. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 40% of adults were overweight in 2016, which translates into almost 2 billion adults.
There are health risks linked to carrying excess weight that should not be ignored. Likewise, there are psychological factors that should not be ignored when it comes to understanding how to cultivate a positive body image.
First off, remind yourself that true beauty extends deep beyond the surface of your skin. Follow this up with a top-ten list of the things you like best about yourself. And, when you view “perfect” images on social media do so with a critical eye—not everything online is as it appears to be!
Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view of healthy sexuality and attachment, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.