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Five Ways Physical Appearance Impacts Mental Health

a girl sat in her car staring out of the window

Most people are quick to judge a book by its cover. In fact, first impressions are often based on physical appearance. From the clothes you wear to the way you style your hair, your physical appearance can impact how others see and treat you. But did you know that your physical appearance can also have an impact on your mental health? Here are five ways physical appearance impacts mental health:

Social isolation:

Have you ever noticed that people tend to cluster together based on physical appearance? Whether it's intentional or not, we often gravitate toward others who look like us. This can lead to social isolation for those who don't fit the mould. Studies have shown that social isolation can lead to anxiety and depression. So, if you find yourself feeling left out or alone, reach out to a friend or family member and tell them how you're feeling. You may be surprised at how understanding they are.

Low self-esteem:

Your self-esteem is often based on how you think others perceive you. If you think others perceive you in a negative light, your self-esteem suffers as a result. This is why it's so important to surround yourself with positive people who accept you for who you are, not what you look like. Low self-esteem could be increased by something as simple as bad breath or crooked teeth. Dental services such as the ones offered by Wahroonga Dental can help you to correct these problems, inevitably increasing your self-esteem and mental health.

Body dysmorphia:

Body dysmorphia is a condition where someone fixates on a flaw in their appearance that is either nonexistent or minor. For example, someone with body dysmorphia may believe that their nose is too big even though it's perfectly proportionate. This fixation can lead to anxiety, depression, and self-hate. Body dysmorphia is a treatable condition that should be discussed with a doctor or mental health professional.

Poor sleep quality:

Poor sleep quality can have a negative impact on physical appearance. When we don't get enough sleep, our skin looks dull and lifeless, our eyes look sunken and dark, and our hair looks lacklustre. But poor sleep quality doesn't just impact our physical appearance; it also leads to fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. If you're struggling to get enough sleep at night, try implementing some healthy sleep habits, such as disconnecting from electronic screens an hour before bed and avoiding caffeine in the evening hours.

Eating disorders:

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that often go hand-in-hand with negative body image issues. Eating disorders can lead to drastic weight loss or gain, which can significantly impact physical appearance. Eating disorders can also lead to electrolyte imbalances, heart problems, and even death if left untreated. If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, please seek professional help immediately.

Physical appearance can have a major impact on mental health, both positively and negatively. Therefore, it's important to be accepting of yourself and others regardless of physical appearance. If you think you may be suffering from any of the above-mentioned problems, please seek professional help immediately.

How do you believe you can improve the ways in which you view yourself?

Love Beth xx

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