Do I look ok? Is my body the right size and shape? Should I lose weight?

These are questions that we’ve probably all asked ourselves at some point in our lives.

Last year, the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people.

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age and directly impact our mental health. For some people, the impact on their mental health can lead to eating disorders which affect not just their mental health, but their physical health too.

So, what can we all do to change how we think and feel about our body image?

  1. No comparison. It’s all too easy to compare ourselves to the images we see online, on tv and in magazines and to forget that more often than not, those images aren’t a real reflection of that person. Comparing yourself to others can increase negative thoughts and feelings about yourself.
  2. Watch your language. How we talk about ourselves has a huge impact on how we feel. Break the bad habit of using negative phrases to describe yourself for positive affirmations like “My worth isn’t defined by my weight. I define my worth and I am worthy.”
  3. Talk about it. Talking about our feelings and thoughts is a tried and tested way to improve our mental health. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same.
  4. You’re amazing – accept it! We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.
  5. Visit the Mental Health Foundation website for more advice.

Local Mental Health support in Derby and Derbyshire: