Body image issues can also impact on your ability to be sexually active or to enjoy your sexual activity. When you are making love and you are ‘hyperalert’ on the body parts you are not happy with, it becomes incredibly challenging to enjoy the intimate moment. When nakedness becomes an obstacle you can imagine the impact. Maybe you always need to make love under the sheets, lights dimmed? You might be interested in how to overcome these issues.
As I explained above, dissatisfaction about your body can absorb your attention which can result in the inability to enjoy activities. I will discuss a few key elements to cope better with body image issues. Obviously the first question when you are dissatisfied about your body (parts) is: can you change anything about it? I will assume that you have tried or considered and that it’s not possible. The most effective strategy is to work on shifting your focus: when your mind tries to entertain you with negative thoughts about your body, acknowledge that your mind is trying to distract you and try to shift your focus to your activity: try to notice where you are and what you can see, smell, hear, feel, taste.. When you are in company of a friend, try to shift your attention to listen mindfully to what your friend is telling you or what you can observe. It might also be helpful to name the part that is generating your negative thoughts. Maybe we can call it the ‘Inner Critic’. Can you visualise this voice? Now that you are more aware of the negative comments that the Inner Critic is providing (and I assume all of these comments are ‘old news’) can you install a ‘Good Friend’: a part that will comfort you when you are struggling, that will tell you that you are worthwhile? Try to imagine what this Good Friend would tell you if you would entrust your struggles with them. Try to shift your focus to these words when your Inner Critic is having a go at you.
These strategies are very effective but require practice. You have probably listened to your Inner Critic for quite some time so this shift won’t happen instantly. It’s a process of training to reach a positive change.
If you recognise all the above and you feel you could do with some professional support to change your body image issues, we are there to help you. Selma is well-trained and experienced in helping people with these kind of issues and the impact on their lives. She could explain these and other strategies to you in more detail and add more ways of coping with your issues. Give us a call to book an initial appointment for you so you can win this battle with your negative thoughts.