I recently came across an article written by Renee Engeln, PhD. entitled, 4 Mantras to Improve Body Image. She advocates for using neuroplasticity (self-talk) to reverse engineer the negative image(s) we tell ourselves in an effort to beat back the blues and face the world with confidence.
Loved what Dr. Engeln had to say, and the simple way in which she summarized the 4 mantras by which she encourages her readers to find value and appreciation in themselves.
This got me thinking about the power of self-talk, and it’s ability to affect our behaviors, both for the positive – and the negative.
Many of the self-destructive behaviors developed by those who abuse drugs and alcohol find their roots in the lies that they tell themselves about how they feel about their body image. Whether they have been hazed and shamed during their adolescent years, or they feel as though the years (and gravity) have been unkind to them – they dislike what they see in the mirror, and begin to repetitively play negative lyrics in their minds about their own value.
And because they are reminded every day of whatever it is that they don’t like about their body image, it’s a constant cycle of degradation and hurtful self-talk. Before you know it, they seek relief from the pain – and that’s where negative self-talk turns into negative behaviors. They choose to dull the pain by drinking it away, or lighting up their drug of choice.
How to Interrupt the Body Image Negative Cycle
It is one thing to quit taking drugs or drinking. But if you don’t address the underlying body image issues, your road to recovery is challenged every time you look in the mirror or when you think of your body. And while it’s true that positive affirmations and healthier self talk can – and will help… much more often you will require help from someone who sees things differently (healthier) than you do.
That’s when it becomes really valuable to have a steadfast confidant – a counselor – to help you reset your body image and walk the road of healing with you. A New Outlook Counseling Services stands ready and willing to take that journey with you!
We have 3 locations to serve Colorado:
- Highlands Ranch-Main Office–Robert J. Johnson, SAP, MAC, LAC
- Lakewood Office– Rick Shriner, CACIII
- Cherry Creek Office– Matthew Jarvis, MA, LPC, LAC, NCC, EMDR