Is Social Media Damaging Your Body Image?

Technology is undeniably revolutionary and has transformed our modern society in notable ways. Cell phones and social media offer plenty of benefits as far as communication goes. You can easily talk to loved ones near and far. Yet with these benefits come problems, as some users report feeling more isolated and depressed after using these tools. 

What’s more, social media can inadvertently harm young people’s perceptions of themselves. From photoshopped bodies to the demand to “glow up” and achieve unrealistic beauty standards, children and teens start to question their physical appearances. Young people are impressionable, and constant access to these harmful messages leads to a compromised body image. As the visitors to these sites become younger, so does the age for reported body image dissatisfaction. 

Fortunately, there are ways to maintain a healthy relationship with your body as you navigate the idealized world presented in social media. As always, it’s important to discuss your concerns with a licensed therapist who can help you develop a healthier body image. 

Focus on Positivity

In recent years, there’s been a larger push for body positivity. Countless blogs and social accounts geared towards body positivity have popped up, providing a community of support among those who want to learn to love their appearance. If your media feed has been getting you down, abandon the negativity, and follow body-positive hashtags. Immersing yourself in a supportive group will help you see the beauty that comes with feeling happy and confident. 

Recognize Your Strengths

People are three-dimensional beings: you are so much more than the way you look. Don’t allow your insecurities about your appearance to undermine what you appreciate about yourself. Make a list of attributes about yourself that you are proud of. If you are struggling to come up with some, a therapist can help you realize your strong points. Then, you can read the list whenever you’re feeling unhappy with your appearance.  

Engage in Beloved Activities

Sometimes, the best way to feel better about yourself is to do something you enjoy. Whether that’s a hobby, a sport, talking with a therapist or someone close to you, or anything else that brings you joy, go for it! Disconnecting from the digital world and giving that focus a break benefits you in all kinds of ways, such as lower stress. Plus, for many people, hobbies are a source of confidence. Focusing on what you’re skilled at is a major confidence booster. 

Reach Out to Friends and Family

No matter what you’re struggling with, it’s always helpful to have a support system to rely on. Be open about how you are feeling. Your feelings can be difficult to put into words, but voicing your struggles sometimes puts them into perspective. Plus, it’s likely that you’ll connect with others who are feeling the same. 

Talk With a Therapist

Ultimately, it’s important to identify the beauty that’s inherent within you. If you feel like you need someone to talk to about your self-perception, set up an appointment at Counseling Works. One of our therapists will walk you through your feelings and help you develop the cognitive tools you need to feel more confident

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