Body image is the perception that someone has of their physical self. This includes any thoughts and feelings associated with that perception. For many individuals, there is a combination of positive, negative, and neutral experiences and thoughts related to their body image. It is important to understand the affective, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of body image. The affective aspect of body image is how one feels about their body in terms of satisfaction or self-esteem. The cognitive aspects of body image encompass what one believes or thinks in relation to their body. For instance, one might believe they will look better with more muscle mass. Finally, behavioral body image is when one engages in a particular behavior because of their affective and cognitive body image. Self-acceptance can be particularly challenging in a time of heightened social media use where comparison to others is at an all time high. Understanding how our thoughts can drive our behaviors is the first step in creating healthy mind body experiences. Some key things to engage in at home include avoiding negative self-talk and body comparison, especially in front of children. It is also important to be aware of what is read and looked at, especially online.
Cheyenne is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in the Charleston, SC area.