Being afraid of the mirror is about more than what you see. The body that is there is the one that you have. What you see in the mirror is what you’ve got. You can alter it, change it, perform surgery on it, dress it up, change the hairstyle, and do many things to shift your perspective. When we avoid looking in the mirror because of body image issues, we are really avoiding our reflection- not what we see in the mirror, but what we don’t see in the mirror.
Body image issues get reduced, compartmentalized, and hidden away. If only we could change that part, if only we could lose that extra weight, if only we had been born a different way, it really wouldn’t be a problem. Feeling constantly obsessed with body image and dissatisfaction with the way we look is a problem. In extreme form it is called body dysmorphic disorder in which our perspective becomes so negatively programmed we cannot see past our criticisms. Fixating on the outside is a way to cope with what we don’t want to focus on inside. Often, we are avoiding something as simple and obvious as even admitting we have insecurities, dissatisfactions, and issues with the way we look. Today’s culture revolves around making people feel less than. Product marketing has a peculiar way of telling people, “You’re great! But you’d be even better with this product,” which really translates to, “You’re not good enough and you need this to be better, because you’re not good enough.” Listening to such messages our entire lives, we all tend to live with a certain fallible truth: we aren’t good enough. We don’t look good enough, we aren’t enough, we don’t do enough. If you have had enough of body image issues and want to work toward a loving, kind, and compassionate relationship with the self, try these three simple steps to get going.
First, you have to start with the best policy, which is always honesty. You might not want to admit you have insecurities. Your shame regarding your body image runs so deep that you are even ashamed to admit you’re ashamed of the way you look because you’re ashamed to do so! Getting honest about body image and saying it out loud helps take the pressure off.
Second, you have to find where these beliefs come from. Some people aren’t aware of the way media messaging influences how they view themselves. However, the media is one of the top tiers of body image issues. The further you dig the deeper you find these issues run. Working with a therapist or attending a treatment program can help you unearth the underlying factors which contribute to your body image issues.
Lastly, you must learn to recognize yourself for more than your appearance. Beyond the image in the mirror is a wonderful person underneath. Through working on body image, you might find that you need to work more on embracing who you are as an individual rather than how you look. Chances are, the more you learn to love yourself on the inside, the more accepting you’ll be on the outside.
When body image issues go unresolved, they can evolve into eating disorders or substance use disorders, which become dangerous and harmful. If you are struggling with self-acceptance and it is taking a negative toll on your life, there is help available. Call Aurora Recovery Center today for information on our available treatment programs to help you transform, mind, body, and spirit. 844-515-STOP.