As we enter spring, which eventually becomes summer, it is common for people to create “goals” regarding their bodies. March and April are months in which negative body image comes to the surface as people plan for vacations, transition from cold-weather to warm-weather clothing, and expect to spend time outdoors.
Extensive research in the area of body image shows that feeling negatively about one’s body is often rooted in self-loathing. Also, the constant struggle to attain a societally “ideal” body shape or weight promotes emotional and physiological stress, and often leads to poor physical and mental health outcomes.
I love this article on how to improve your body image and focus on other goals for yourself. It may be hard to believe, but fixating or obsessing LESS on exercise, nutrition and your body can improve your mental health. Also, even when you do create goals around exercise, it can be valuable to focus on feeling stronger instead of pressuring yourself to change how your body looks.
How might it feel to love yourself, and the way you look, just as you are in this moment?
Written by: Taejah Vemuri, LCPC, MPH, Urban Balance