Hating Your Body Can Actually Hurt Your Body

Contributor
A new study shows that negative body image can affect your physical health

Thinkstock / kzenon

Hating your body affects a lot more than your mind.

It’s obvious that body shaming and negative body image have an impact on a person’s attitude. Feeling comfortable about the way you look promotes confidence and mental stability. The consequences of body shaming on mental health can be exhausting and negatively influence a person’s personality. Beyond the psychological repercussions, have you ever thought about the effects that a negative body image has on a person’s physical health?

Click here for How to Address Your Teen's Body Image Issues slideshow.

Jean M. Lamont, a researcher at Bucknell University, conducted a study to determine if possessing a negative body image predicted negative physical health outcomes. The first part of the study was a survey that measured body shame and body responsiveness among 177 female undergraduate students. The results of the survey showed that the students with poor self-image reported lower levels of physical health, such as illness and infection. The second part of the study measured 181 female undergraduate students who completed the same survey at two different times in the school year. The results showed that over time, negative self-image was associated with symptoms of sickness and actual sickness.

Although this study was conducted among a small group of women, it is important to acknowledge the impact that your mental well-being can have on your physical health. Thinking of yourself in a negative light can make you feel physically ill. The mind is more powerful than you think, so if you feel that you experience poor self-esteem, don't be afraid to reach out for help. 

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