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Healing Body Image Issues

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about healing body image issues. So according to research from Ann Kearney Cooke and Diana Tieger, around 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve a better body shape. In another survey, 40% of women and about 20% of men said they were considering cosmetic surgery in the near future. So having a negative body image, you know, that feeling of being constantly dissatisfied with the way your body looks is associated with higher levels of depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and fixations on losing weight.

This is a really tender topic for me personally. I'm in that 91% a lot of the time. I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager. And even though I've done a lot of healing and growing since then, this probably still remains one of my greatest challenges to work with in life. Now, many factors contribute to a negative body image - our culture, our upbringing, the way the human mind is wired, our peer group.

But the biggest influence for most of us is advertising and media. When we constantly scroll through images of filtered and photo-shopped and polished images of so-called ideal beauty standards, we're often left feeling deficient. In fact, research has shown that using social media for only 30 minutes a day has the potential to negatively change the way a person perceives their body. One 2010 study also showed that 47% of elementary school girls reported wanting to lose weight after looking through these kinds of pictures. Now for women, this can be especially hard because early in life, we get the message that our physical appearance is what matters.

So many of us have a tendency to become really self-critical about physical attributes that we don't feel in measuring up. But it's not just women. Many men are also really self-critical as well. And what can happen is when we start being self-critical when we're young, it can become a deep seated habit. But, you know, the more mindful awareness we can bring to those self-critical thoughts, the more we can learn to let them go and switch our focus to self-acceptance and self-compassion instead.

Our minds are trainable. So each time we practice being kinder to ourselves, we soften the inner critic and strengthen the muscle of self-love, confidence and inner strength. So my invitation for today and ongoing is every time you catch yourself being critical on yourself, about how you look, pause, and let go of those thoughts and then offer yourself some kind and supportive words. Offer yourself kindness instead of criticism, acceptance instead of aggression. And in this way, you will grow true confidence from the inside out and reclaim your own power to feel at home within your own skin and at ease with who you are right now.

So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And let's now settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Healing Body Image Issues

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about healing body image issues. So according to research from Ann Kearney Cooke and Diana Tieger, around 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve a better body shape. In another survey, 40% of women and about 20% of men said they were considering cosmetic surgery in the near future. So having a negative body image, you know, that feeling of being constantly dissatisfied with the way your body looks is associated with higher levels of depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and fixations on losing weight.

This is a really tender topic for me personally. I'm in that 91% a lot of the time. I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager. And even though I've done a lot of healing and growing since then, this probably still remains one of my greatest challenges to work with in life. Now, many factors contribute to a negative body image - our culture, our upbringing, the way the human mind is wired, our peer group.

But the biggest influence for most of us is advertising and media. When we constantly scroll through images of filtered and photo-shopped and polished images of so-called ideal beauty standards, we're often left feeling deficient. In fact, research has shown that using social media for only 30 minutes a day has the potential to negatively change the way a person perceives their body. One 2010 study also showed that 47% of elementary school girls reported wanting to lose weight after looking through these kinds of pictures. Now for women, this can be especially hard because early in life, we get the message that our physical appearance is what matters.

So many of us have a tendency to become really self-critical about physical attributes that we don't feel in measuring up. But it's not just women. Many men are also really self-critical as well. And what can happen is when we start being self-critical when we're young, it can become a deep seated habit. But, you know, the more mindful awareness we can bring to those self-critical thoughts, the more we can learn to let them go and switch our focus to self-acceptance and self-compassion instead.

Our minds are trainable. So each time we practice being kinder to ourselves, we soften the inner critic and strengthen the muscle of self-love, confidence and inner strength. So my invitation for today and ongoing is every time you catch yourself being critical on yourself, about how you look, pause, and let go of those thoughts and then offer yourself some kind and supportive words. Offer yourself kindness instead of criticism, acceptance instead of aggression. And in this way, you will grow true confidence from the inside out and reclaim your own power to feel at home within your own skin and at ease with who you are right now.

So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And let's now settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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