BODY IMAGE ISSUES AND COPING

What’s It Like to Have Body Image Issues?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

People who have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) develop an obsession over some perceived or imaginary flaw in their physical appearance.

BODY IMAGE ISSUES AND COPINGThey mistakenly believe they are deformed and monstrous. This delusion can literally ruin their lives. Michael Jackson was a famous person who had it.  After therapy a person may know that they are not disfigured and monstrous. In fact, they can actually know that they are very pretty from all the compliments that they get. Even then, they may sometimes avoid mirrors, worry about lighting, and even fall back into the thought that, “Oh my god, they see it, they all see it, and they’re disgusted.”

How does it feel to have body image issues?

body image issues

Tanya Brooks 16 – High School Student

“To me it feels like I’m missing out on my own life. Like I’m missing quite a lot of what my peers are enjoying to the full; right in front of me and all around. Wherever I go, I see their slender, beautiful and fit bodies in their perfect coordinated outfits, with casual smiles all over their young and delighted faces and awfully perfect skin.”

Bart van Kippered 21 – Gamer

“Even though I stay in due to the pressure I feel when facing the world and its people, Facebook is there to remind me how all these constructed lives are cheerful and unconcerned, while I’m the exact opposite.

To me, it means I don’t go hang out with friends, I don’t go to the beach in the summer, and I never meet new people except through internet. I’m trapped in my own body. I simply cannot make myself do such things and let myself be exposed to the surroundings.”

Fiona Wild 28 –Volunteer Fire Fighter

“I get depressed every time I glance at my reflection in a mirror or walk by a shop window and get a glint of my own image. I simply don’t want to glance down at my body by accident. I can’t bear to look at myself and accept how awful I feel about my appearance.

When I am in intimate with my husband, it is never without having my self-hatred pound on me the entire time; every single time. I don’t get joy out of activities other people tend to enjoy. I therefore avoid them because I simply can’t handle them. I feel mortified and want no one else to see what I’m seeing when I look in a mirror.”

Do intelligent people worry about body image?

intelligent guy with body image issues

Intelligent people keenly understand the impact that their physical presentation can have on their lives. From an early age, we all realize that people who look a certain way tend to get treated differently in certain situations. You don’t believe this to be a fact? Read Teachers Give Better Grades to More Attractive Students: Study.
As one gets older, it becomes more apparent that, say, a boy looks athletic and strong will be less likely to be bullied. A girl with nice skin, straight teeth and a slender body is more likely to be popular amongst her peers. A teen with piercings and tattoos may not be taken seriously by the coach of the debate team.

Anyone who thinks the surface is an illusion is wrong. It’s true that we should strive to pay less attention to surface presentation, but we also cannot ignore its effects.

I am no Einstein, but yes, I would consider myself an intelligent person. I do loathe what the world has become: a place where image is considered more important than humanity. I do however realize that if I presented myself without concern to the way I appeared to others, I might not have an easy time getting a job, a life partner, or have my grievances heard in court.

The danger is when you start obsessing about it. Forgetting who you are and relegating yourself to be just a body, when actually your body is just a vehicle that carries who you are.you are a soul

How do I make my parents understand my body image issues?

how do i tell my parents

The lack of support from parents is a complex issue. You should however consider involving your doctor too. He should be able to help you get through to them if you ask him to explain to them the impact and distress your condition is causing you.

It’s possible that you your body is perfectly OK. That doesn’t mean that you’re not unhappy about what you perceive about your body. If that’s the case, your doctor will certainly be able to help.

Sometimes the problem has practical aspects too. If you’re actually overweight for example, and you are still living with your parents, then you’re probably expected to eat whatever meals and snacks they provide, which may not be a healthy diet.  Your doctor can advise them about improving their diet or at least be more conscious to your health needs.

Where can I get help for body image issues?

One may read 5 Ways to Deal With Body Image Issues or  10 Steps to Positive Body Image to better understand where they need to be to start recovery. Although helpful, you cannot just read these articles and switch off your Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) button. Go talk to a therapist. If you are still living with your parents, talk to them and help them understand what you are going through.

Here is a helpful organization that deals with body image issues; take action to today!

USA – Association and Depression Association of America

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Outside USA

http://treatment.adaa.org/finding-help/advanced-search/?ShowAdvanced=Y


 

Physical and mental health

Physical Fitness & Mental Health Connection for the Best You

It is a known fact that daily exercise is good for the body, but the recently discovered connection between physical and mental health might prove that exercise can be good for the mind as well.

Research has shown that exercise can help combat against mental ailments such as anxiety, ADHD, and depression. Likewise, exercise can help you:

  • sleep better,
  • improve your memory retention, and
  • improve your overall mood.

Although there is no set age to start becoming more physically active, it is best to engage in exercise and other physical activities as early as in your teens, according to medcarehealth.com.

After all, starting out early can help you grow and mature with a mind and a body that is ready for anything.

But, before I delve deep into the connection between mental and physical health, let’s start with a simple question:

What is health?

health lab mouseAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), a person who is free from disease or disability is not immediately considered healthy. Instead, you must demonstrate physical, mental, and social well-being in order to be considered truly healthy.

Great, but how are those connected?

The Canadian Mental Health Association lists 3 concrete associations that demonstrate the connection between physical and mental well-being:

  1. Poor mental health increases the risk for chronic physical conditions.
  2. Patients suffering from serious mental ailments are at a greater risk of suffering from chronic physical conditions.
  3. Finally, people suffering from chronic physical conditions might also develop mental illnesses in the future.

These associations show that there is indeed a connection between physical and mental health.

Though there might not be a proven way to prevent these chronic illnesses from developing, acknowledging the relationship between your mind and body can help you minimize potential risks.

What benefits can you reap from exercise?

exercise-ballThe primary reason why you might choose to engage in more physical activities is to trim your waistline or to lose some pounds. However, exercise can provide you with so much more.

In a study that aimed to answer the question:” how does physical health affect mental health?”, researchers discovered that elderly adults who engage in regular exercise and are physically fit tend to possess much larger hippocampi than other people in their age group.

Wait, what is hippocampi?

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible for your spatial memory. Maintaining this part of your brain even in your older years gives you a great advantage.

Does mental health affect physical ability?

Meanwhile, in a study conducted by researchers at the Bangor University in Wales, it was discovered that people who engaged in mentally draining activities before performing difficult exercise tests reached exhaustion much faster than those who were mentally relaxed prior to performing the physical task.

This study shows that one of the benefits of nurturing your mental well-being can also affect your physical strength and endurance.

Can exercise combat depression?

anxietyAccording to Jane Collingwood, author of The Relationship between Physical and Mental Health, those individuals suffering from depression often have worse physical health than those who are mentally healthy.

Likewise, patients suffering from chronic physical diseases are also likely to suffer from depression.

Just a little exercise goes a long way

Exercise, even in moderation, can greatly improve both the mental well-being and physical health of those suffering from depression.

Physical activity can help encourage positive changes in your brain such as a surge of endorphin or “feel good hormones”.

Regular exercise can also help distract you from any destructive or negative thoughts and allow you to find your inner peace.

Exercise relieves anxiety

While you might think that the physical benefits that you reap from exercise are the things that make you feel good, its effect on your mind are probably the more likely reason for your happy feelings.

Exercises such as weight training can ease the suffering of people who are living with anxiety by elevating their mood and reducing their feelings of irritability.

Remember: Even moderate daily exercise can contribute to improved long-term mental health.

Reaping the benefits of exercise

Benefits of exercise

photo by zirconicusso

As previously stated, you will not need to block off your entire day just to reap the mental and physical benefits of exercise. You will see a difference in 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

Additionally, while it might take months before you see any significant physical changes after exercise, the mental boost that it can provide is almost instantaneous (Weir, 2011).

For this reason, it would be more beneficial if you learn to focus on how good you actually feel after your workout than to simply look for the physical rewards.

This is particularly important for patients who are suffering from stress or mild cases of depression and anxiety since focusing too much on your physical appearance would only worsen your condition.

Don’t delay another day: simple exercises to get started

One of the easiest ways to sneak some physical activities into your busy schedule is by taking a quick walk to or from your office. Exercise can enable your brain to better manage your stress levels.

The Key Takeaway: Sweating it out even from a brisk walk can help relieve you of your physical pain as well as make you feel more at peace.

Another easy way to get an energy boost is by hopping on a treadmill, jumping on a rebounder trampoline, or lifting a few weights at home or at the gym.

Regardless of your age, weight, or gender, all you really need is the motivation and determination to keep moving.

Exercise and mental health – the undeniable bond

There is a significant amount of proof that supports the connection between physical and mental health. Physically fit individuals are better able to handle stressful situations and those who are mentally healthy are able to handle more difficult physical tasks.

Therefore, it is important to nurture both your physical and mental health in order to reap all possible benefits for your mind and your body.

Want more great health information?

Visit the Rebounder Zone blog to learn more about how you can improve your mental and physical health today.

 

Sources

Breene, S. (2013). 13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-health-benefits-exercise
Collingwood, J. (2016). The Relationship between Mental and Physical. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-relationship-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2016). Connection between Mental and Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://ontario.cmha.ca/mental-health/connection-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Grohol, J.Psy.D (2009).The Connection between Mental & Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/02/25/the-connection-between-mental-physical-health/
N.A. (2014). 5 Ways Physical Health Impacts Mental Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://fitstar.com/5-ways-physical-health-impacts-mental-health/
N.A. (2016). Research Shows Connection between Mental Health and Physical Fitness. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.medcarehealth.com/health-problems-prevention/research-shows-connection-between-mental-health-and-physical-fitness-2/
Robinson, L., Segal, J. Ph.D., & Smith, M. M.A. (2016). The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise:The Exercise Prescription for Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and More. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/exercise-fitness/emotional-benefits-of-exercise.htm
Weir, K. (2011). The exercise effect. Vol 42, No. 11. P.48. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx

Leonard Parker is a health blogger and owner of the eCommerce store, RebounderZone.com. Rebounder Zone offers rebounder trampolines, health equipment, and health information to mature adults.

Leonard is a graduate of Stanford University and has worked in a number of roles as a consultant and digital marketing specialist. Rebounder Zone was started because Leonard saw first hand how exercise and healthy living can change lives, and he wants to help others experience this fantastic feeling, too. For any inquiries, please contact Leonard at leonard(at)rebounderzone.com.

Magic in the bedroom

Romance Your Room for a Healthier Life

bedroom romance for healthy life

It’s not a surprise that many of us struggle with incompetence in our bedrooms. By incompetence I mean between us and our bed. Many of us reading right now struggle with acquiring adequate amounts of sleep needed for us to live healthier, creative and fruitful lives. There are many studies, podcasts, books and my favorite TED talks that educate us on how important it is for us to catch as many Zs’ as we can during nighttime. However here is a new outlook on resting and possibly a better way to enhance your sleep life. You thought I would say sex life. Stick with it people! Even though I can attest to being one who’d rather intertwine my soul with my lover in between the sheets during the witching hours, I simply look and feel better when I sleep enough hours instead of skipping resting hours for magical pleasures or for getting work done.

Your sleep patterns can grow old with you

Many Americans take sleep for granted. That is very obvious given that we are usually tired, stressed, irritable and unhealthy. It has dawned on me how much our sleeping environment plays part in how much time we spend in between the sheets. Looking back at my history of sleep I have noticed the differences in my sleep patterns differed from the environments in which I was sleeping in. Growing up I always had trouble sleeping. I grew up in a house that technically never slept much like the city I lived in, New York. My father has had insomnia for the most part of his adult life and he could never sleep until everyone was home, in bed and asleep; and after he’s watched a few hours on the tell-lie-vision. Growing up I was very attached to my father and so staying up late with him was a habit I acquired at the early age of five. When I would be too scared to sleep in my own bed in a room I shared with my two sisters I would share the couch with him and the T.V. until 1:00 am. This kind of behavior may have had something to do with the fact that since I was a toddler my father nurtured me a lot and would hold me close to his stomach almost all of the time. When a parent holds their baby close to their body for long periods of time often a child and that parent will develop a strong energetic connection almost as if they become one form of energy a form I like to call love. A child feels protected and the parent feels powerful as if they were protecting the baby from all harms of the world. This created a very strong bond between my father and I which led me to always run to him and my mom’s room in the middle of the night to sleep in their bed whenever I had a bad dream up until the age of twelve. Whichever way you look at this behavior, it is not the healthiest for a child let alone a pre-teenager. Consciously noticing this as I got older, I watched my contributions to my sleep behavior, unsettlingly enough I realized I never practiced any sleep rituals consistently which may have caused me to never gain an adequate amount sleep.

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