How Physical Appearance Affects Mental Health: What To Do About It

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Looks aren’t everything. We all know this to be true as you are more than what your outward appearance shows. It’s what’s inside that counts. Yet, how you look can also affect how you feel.

Take your teeth as an example. If you have chipped or rotting teeth, then this can deal a big blow to your self esteem. And that can lead to things like depression and social isolation. If you want to take care of your mental health, then sometimes you have to start with your physical appearance. 

In this case, going to a dentist like SmilovitsDDS will go a long way towards feeling good about yourself. But, there are a lot of other things to think about beyond just your teeth. 

In this article, I will go over how your physical appearance can be tough on your metal health and what you can do about it. 

Body image

Sometimes what you see when you stand in front of the mirror is not what you want to see. You notice every defect from your weight to your cellulite to your posture. The other issue is that you see things that aren’t even there. Your mental image of what you look like might not even correspond to what you see in the mirror. 

Your body image is how you perceive your looks to be and this is even harder to deal with than simply being unhappy with your appearance. It is usually this disconnect from how you perceive your body to how it actually is that leads to eating disorders

For those that have body positivity issues, the effect is generally low self esteem and can lead to depression. They feel embarrassed about their weight, physical impairments or some other perceived defect. 

The way around this is to work on body positivity. Though easier said than done, you have to surround yourself with positivity to feel good in general. Don’t isolate yourself and be out there with who you are. It also helps to practice daily affirmations. 

Unrealistic beauty standards

It is very difficult to see an idea of what beauty is supposed to look like everywhere around you. Magazines, TV shows and store catalogues are all adding to this idea that if you don’t look a certain way then you are not beautiful. 

Go to a public beach to get an idea of how very far this is from reality. There you will see all body types, skin tones and scars. Young to old, you will only see a small fraction of people that fit into the mold that the media has created that people should strive for.

Unfortunately, many people have trouble seeing it that way so they fall into the trap of trying to look like this manufactured ideal or by shrinking away and becoming depressed about it. 

What starts with spending lots of money on cosmetics can lead to a full blown obsession over trying to look perfect. And this takes a toll on mental health that leads to exhaustion and a nervous breakdown. 

The best bet is to try to avoid this media and look for examples of what normal people look like to feel better about your appearance. 

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