When you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you speak kind words to yourself and embrace the amazing qualities and characteristics that make you authentic? Or do you engage in negative self-talk and self-harming behaviours?
With external pressure from media, friends, and family combined with internal pressure from our own self talk we form assumptions as to how we view our bodies and in return how we feel about ourselves. These assumptions can lead to self-defeating thoughts, discouraging feelings and harmful behaviours. The view of our self imagine is formed at a very young age and continues to be molded from what we are told by others, personal experiences and how we see others are treated.
As we grow we learn how our body can serve as a powerful means to get us places and to create meaningful relationships. We learn how people respond to our appearances and with that response generate emotions that promote specific behaviours. Over time people who have been exposed to trauma can form addictive self-harming behaviours to cope with the emotions attached to the trauma. Such behaviours are binge eating, purging, controlled eating, starvation, over exercising, substance abuse, sex addiction, etc. These behaviours form uncontrollable impulses that even though we may recognize that we are causing self harm we are unable to stop. It is common for these types of behaviours to start out slow, alleviating negative emotions at first before the consequences of the self-harming behaviours take over.
Fighting against these behaviours alone will only lead to further self-harming behaviours and make things worse. Instead of letting these behaviours take away from your authentic self and the truly amazing person you are, do something positive and proactive to break the pattern. Recognize the negative momentum that has been building and do something completely unrelated to knock it off track. By turning your attention and putting your energy in a different direction you can make these behaviours irrelevant and powerless.