Graduate students from several countries and institutions took part in a recent survey. In comparison to the general population, the study showed graduate students are nearly six times more likely to develop mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, according to the study. Our self-image has a direct influence on our mental health, and ultimately, our external appearance can play a huge role in both.
The students in the above study lost interest in pursuing their hobbies and even some of the habits essential to their health, like exercise and hygiene. Sometimes the continuous list of endless tasks in our lives can make us feel overwhelmed, leaving us anxious and depressed.
According to Kelsey Patel, a Los Angeles-based wellness consultant and author of the upcoming book Burning Bright: Rituals, Reiki, and Self-Care to Heal Burnout, Anxiety, and Stress, self-care forms part of the solution to coping with daily challenges.
For most of us, the process of developing and maintaining a healthy self-image is ongoing.
Developing a Positive Self-Image
Self-image is influenced by the learning process from our early childhoods. Depending on how our image is reflected in us from our parents and caregivers. Later in life, these are mirrored from other interactions, determining what we feel and think about ourselves.
The picture we see in the mirror may be a true or distorted picture of who we are. Based on this perspective, we either build a positive or negative self-image. We constantly gather data and assess ourselves in a variety of areas, including physical appearance, performance, and relationships. Unfortunately, for most of us, there is a tendency to focus on our flaws and limitations, and a poor self-image is often caused by the imperfections we see or think we see.
Our self-image is fluid and ever-changing because it’s not set in stone. We can learn to challenge the distortions we see in the mirror by developing a healthier and truer picture of ourselves. Acceptance, appreciation, and love from ourselves and others, are tools that help develop a positive self-image.
Implementing the various levels of self-care are important to leading a happier life. There are five types of self-care, and these include social, mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical. Every single one is important, but physical self-care plays a major role in improving our self-image. Here is how everyone can build on their self-image through physical care.
Fuel Your Body
A healthy body immediately leads to an improved self-image since there is such a strong connection between the body and mind. We all have an idea of how to care for our bodies, but often neglect our physical needs. Nutrition, exercise, regular checkups, and a good night’s sleep are essential to ensuring we are at our best physically.
Enhance Your Smile
Another thing that has a huge impact on a positive self-image is our smile. Like the rest of our bodies, our teeth play an important role in how we look and feel. A regular dental checkup and clean are vital because our dental health can affect our well-being.
Besides healthy teeth and gums, teeth straightening treatments are also relevant to our self-confidence and self-image. Braces are great for younger children or those with severe teeth alignment and bite issues, but for teenagers and young adults they are often not an option, because they aren’t discreet enough.
Over the last two decades, clear aligners made their appearance. Known as Invisalign, these are available at dental offices but have several drawbacks. They require frequent dental visits, are expensive, and usually take more than a year to complete the teeth straightening.
Clear aligners are now available for at-home treatments, allowing more people the option of straightening their teeth. Brands like Byte, AlignerCo, Candid, and SmileDirect Club are ideal for those with less severe problems. These online treatments come in several options and are prescribed by qualified dentists and orthodontists, according to the patient’s impressions or scans. Teeth straightening is faster, cheaper, and more convenient with at-home clear aligners. Learn how to save money on clear aligners in this article from Smile Prep.
Self-care helps us have a positive relationship with ourselves, allowing us to share those positive sentiments with others. While people may mistake self-care for selfishness, this is far from true. Caring for ourselves and our health means we are presenting the best image of ourselves for others. The healthier we are and the better our smile, the better our self-image.