Body dysmorphia is a serious problem that affects millions of people all over the globe. It can be difficult to manage, but there are ways to conquer it. Here’s what you need to do to beat body dysmorphia and start living a happier, healthier life.
Determine Your Problem
If you fixate on your physical appearance and see only flaws when you look in the mirror, you may have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
It’s a mental health condition that causes people to obsess over their looks, even when there’s nothing wrong.
The first step to conquering BDD is to pinpoint your issue.
That might seem like common sense, but it can be complicated.
If you’re unsure, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I spend a lot of time thinking about my appearance?
- Am I avoiding mirrors or certain types of lighting because I don’t want to see myself?
- Do I spend a lot of time comparing myself to others?
- Do I spend a lot of time obsessing over a particular physical feature that I don’t like? Do I spend hours each day trying to cover it up or camouflage it?
Spend Time with Your Loved Ones
Being with your loved ones is one of the best things you can do to combat body dysmorphia.
When you’re around people who love and accept you for who you are, it’s difficult to focus on your perceived flaws.
Instead, you can see yourself more objectively and appreciate your unique beauty.
It’s important to make time for your family and friends regularly.
Plan fun outings, have dinner together, or spend a few hours chatting and catching up.
You may also consider joining a support group for people with body dysmorphia.
This can be an invaluable resource for sharing tips, coping strategies, and simply knowing that you’re not alone in your struggle.
Monitor Your Habits
If you want to overcome body dysmorphia, you need to take a close look at your habits.
For example, are you constantly checking your appearance in the mirror?
Do you spend hours scrolling through social media and comparing yourself to others?
Do you criticize your appearance harshly?
The first step to gaining control and improving your relationship with your body is to monitor your habits.
If you catch yourself participating in negative behaviors, attempt to switch them out for positive ones.
For example, if you often criticize your appearance, try instead to focus on things that you appreciate about yourself.
Likewise, if you spend a lot of time scrolling through social media, try setting a limit or avoiding it entirely.
You can make a big difference in how you feel about your body by making small changes.
So start today and see how much better you can feel simply by monitoring and changing your habits!
Consult a Nutritionist
Though nobody is perfect, we all have quirks and traits that make us who we are.
Unfortunately, these physical “flaws” can be a major source of anxiety and distress for some people.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition in which a person is obsessed with one or more perceived physical defects or flaws.
For example, people with BDD may spend hours thinking about their appearance and comparing themselves to others.
They may also spend excessive time and money on cosmetics, clothing, and fitness products to “fix” their appearance.
In severe cases, BDD can lead to depression, social isolation, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
If you think you might have BDD, the first step is to speak with a qualified mental health professional or nutritionist.
They will help you understand your thoughts and feelings about your body.
They can also give you the tools and resources to deal with BDD healthily.
Here are some things you can do to take care of yourself in the meantime:
- Eating a balanced diet: Eating a healthy diet will improve your physical health and help ease anxiety and promote positive self-esteem.
- Exercising: Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. It can also help to increase muscle tone and improve circulation, giving you a more positive outlook on your appearance.
- Sleeping: It is essential to get enough sleep for overall health and well-being. It can also help to lower stress levels and improve body image.
- Reducing social media usage: For people with BDD, social media can be a trigger. If you can, limit your time on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, or take a break from them entirely.
Be Physically Active
To overcome body dysmorphia, it is essential to be physically active.
Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting properties.
Furthermore, research has shown that mental health can be improved by being active outdoors in nature.
It’s important to find an enjoyable form of exercise that you can stick with.
This may mean joining a gym or taking up a new sport for some people.
Others may prefer to go for walks or hikes in their free time.
No matter what you choose, ensure you get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
Write Down Your Thoughts
Body dysmorphia is a condition where you obsess over a perceived flaw in your appearance.
For example, if you have body dysmorphia, you might constantly check the mirror, pick at your skin, or diet excessively.
One method that may assist you in managing body dysmorphia is to document your thoughts.
This can enable you to analyze your thoughts and be more mindful.
Make an effort to write down your thoughts for 10 minutes every day.
You can do this in a journal or on a notepad.
A few things you might want to consider are:
- What is on your mind at this very moment?
- What were you thinking about earlier today?
- What triggered your thoughts?
- What emotions do you experience when you have these thoughts?
- Do these thoughts make sense?
- What would happen if you stopped thinking about this?
Beat Dysmorphia with Meditation
Meditation can be beneficial in reducing the anxiety and negative thoughts associated with body dysmorphia.
If you have body dysmorphia, you usually concentrate on your supposed physical imperfections and mull over them frequently.
This can make you very nervous and unhappy.
Meditation can assist you in breaking this cycle of negative thinking.
There are various meditation methods, so it’s crucial to find a practice that suits you.
For example, some people prefer to sit still with their eyes shut, while others find walking or dancing meditatively more comfortable.
As you begin meditating, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Start by meditating for short periods and gradually increase the duration. Even five minutes can be beneficial.
- Don’t worry if your mind wanders at first. It takes practice to learn how to focus your attention. Just gently bring your thoughts back to your breath or whatever mantra you use.
- Try active meditation practices such as yoga or tai chi if you find it difficult to stay still.
- Make yourself comfortable by sitting or lying down and closing your eyes if that feels right. Alternatively, keep your eyes open and focus on a spot on the ground in front of you.
- Begin by focusing on your breath – pay attention to the feeling of air moving in and out of your lungs. You may also find it helpful to count each breath. Repeat this pattern until you reach 10, then start over from the beginning.
Stay Away from Negativity
To begin, you must nip negative thoughts in the bud.
That might appear to be an impossible task, but it’s not.
When a pessimistic thought pops into your head, don’t entertain it.
Don’t give it any notice whatsoever.
Acknowledge that it exists, but don’t dwell on it.
The more time you spend dwelling on a negative thought, the more control you give it.
Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that can help you manage your body dysmorphia.
CBT can help you understand your thoughts and feelings about your body, and it can help you change the way you think and feel about your body.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be done in individual or group sessions.
It can be done in person, over the phone, or online.
You are not alone if you think you may have body dysmorphia.
This condition is real and affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.
The most important thing to remember is that there are many ways to manage body dysmorphia.
With the help of a therapist or counselor, you can learn how to cope with your thoughts and feelings.
In time, you can feel better about yourself and your appearance.