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How to Combat Unhealthy Messages About Body Image

Tuesday, May 26  •  

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We are flooded with messages about body image consistently. Whether it comes in the media we see on TV, our own social media, or our relationships, messages about body image are spread throughout our lives. Some of these can be good messages, while others can be extremely unhealthy. 

It’s important to note that a majority of these messages are subliminal. This means that the message about body image being shared is not explicitly written or spoken. If you’re not paying attention to what you’re consuming, it can be easy to let these messages about body image make you feel like you’re not enough. Whether you feel like you’re not skinny, fit, or even curvy enough, media greatly impacts body image negatively, unfortunately. We’re sharing some tips to combat negative body image messages that are so pervasive in almost every media we interact with. If you find your body image has taken a hit negatively, here are some tips to start your journey of loving your body.

  • Pay attention to what’s making you feel this way. Is it a social media account? Is it a friend in your life? Once you pinpoint what is making you feel negative about yourself, take a break from it. Unfollow that social media account. Have an open and honest conversation with your friend about what is making you feel bad and if it can’t be changed, take a break from that friend. It may be easier said than done, but this is the first step in loving yourself and feeling positive about your own body image. 
  • When you feel yourself becoming negative about your body image, interrupt your negative thoughts with 3 positive things about your body. Write these down if possible. Whether you have a notebook for this or simply take notes in your phone, writing down these positive thoughts can help you make powerful changes in the way you think. These can and should be different each time you have to interrupt your negative cycle of thoughts. For example, one positive thing could look like this. “My body allows me to be active and play outside with my kids, I’m grateful for my body because of this.”
  • Surround yourself with supportive friends and family. If you’re surrounded by others who constantly discuss their unhappiness with their body and how they wish it could be different, this naturally leads you to think of things you would change about your body if you could. If your close loved ones are contributing to your own negative cycle of thoughts, communicate this kindly, and ask for their support on your journey to building a more positive body image. This may help them to realize they may have some work to do for themselves as well. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, our specialists at Avalon Hills stand ready to help. We offer cutting edge technology to interrupt negative feedback cycles that are prevalent in eating disorders and therapeutic support for all who need it. Questions? Contact our admissions representatives, we’re happy to help.