Body Image and Self esteem starts in the mind, not the mirror*


What we think when we look in the mirror determines how we feel. A negative thought such as ‘Nobody else looks like this.  All my friends look better than me’ is likely to trigger sadness, upset, hopelessness about the future, and a host of other feelings. These feelings in turn may make us draw into ourselves and away from our friends and family. Everything seems wrong about ourselves and our lives. We may become so distressed that we feel like doing ourselves harm or just feel that life is not worth living. Some may turn to suicide.

There are so many different looking people in the world. Finding something in ourselves that is different or special, rather than an all-or-nothing ‘good or bad’,  can be the beginning of change. It can be something in our appearance, in an ability to be kind or have empathy for others, or in being intellectually bright. Identifying and developing that strength will start to have a positive influence on our self-esteem and perceptions about our appearance.

Use the diagram to think about how you can start that change.

Mirrors are only one-dimensional!

*Canadian Mental Health Association


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