Empower Your Journey: Self-Help Tips to Conquer Body Dysmorphia with Confidence

Posted by Natalie M. on Jul 2nd 2024

Empower Your Journey: Self-Help Tips to Conquer Body Dysmorphia with Confidence

Hey lovely,

Dealing with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) can be really tough, especially when you’re just starting out on your fitness journey. I admit I felt it, especially postpartum. I even experience it alittle now. But don’t worry, there are ways to help yourself manage BDD and start feeling better about yourself. Let’s dive into some simple, effective strategies you can try right now to feel more confident in your own skin!

What Exactly is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is when you see yourself in a way that's not quite real. It's like having a funhouse mirror in your brain that makes you focus on flaws that others don’t even notice. You might be fixated on your weight, skin, hair, muscles, or any other feature.

People with BDD often believe others see them the same way they see themselves, which can be really isolating. It affects everything—your education, career, relationships, and goals. It's like having a mean voice in your head that just won't stop.

How Do You Know If You Have BDD?

According to the American Psychological Association, if you:

  • Obsess over perceived flaws that others don’t see or think are minor
  • Perform repetitive behaviors (like checking the mirror or grooming excessively) because of these concerns
  • Feel distressed or impaired in your social or work life because of your appearance worries
  • Aren't just worried about body fat or weight in a way that fits an eating disorder

Signs You Might Have BDD

Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • Spending a lot of time in front of mirrors
  • Avoiding mirrors entirely
  • Excessive grooming
  • Constantly comparing yourself to others
  • Withdrawing socially
  • Expressing disgust towards yourself because of perceived flaws

Use Self-Help Materials

Self-help materials, like books or online programs, can be super useful. They often use principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is great for treating BDD. By making small steps to challenge your worries, you can reduce those compulsive behaviors.

You can use these materials alongside professional help or on your own to develop coping strategies. Here are some resources to check out:

You can also find several self-help programs for free via computer or by prescription from your GP. The NHS self-help therapies page has more info on this.

Improve Your Self-Esteem

Boosting your self-esteem can make a big difference. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Celebrate Your Successes: No matter how small, take time to praise yourself and notice what you did well. You’re amazing!
  • Accept Compliments: Make a note of compliments to look over when you’re feeling low or doubting yourself. Believe in the good things people say about you!
  • Ask for Feedback: Ask people what they like about you. Chances are, they see you differently than you see yourself.
  • Make a List: Write a list of things you like about yourself—character traits, skills, experiences, beliefs, or things you enjoy doing. You can even ask others for suggestions. You’ve got so many wonderful qualities!

Join Support Groups

Support groups can be a lifeline. They offer a chance to meet others who understand what you’re going through and can provide a support network. Hearing how others have coped with similar feelings can make you feel less isolated.

Here’s where you can find details about support groups for BDD:

Look After Yourself

Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is crucial. Here are some tips to help support your recovery and improve your quality of life:

  • Get Enough Sleep: Too little or too much sleep can impact how you feel. Check out our tips on coping with sleep problems for more info.
  • Eat Well: Eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable can boost your mood and energy levels. Our pages on food and mood have more details.
  • Stay Active: Physical activity is great for mental wellbeing and can boost self-esteem. Our pages on physical activity can guide you.
  • Spend Time Outside: Nature can really help your wellbeing. See our pages on nature and mental health for more info.
  • Avoid Recreational Drugs and Alcohol: While they might seem like a quick fix, in the long run, they can make you feel worse and prevent you from dealing with underlying problems. Our pages on recreational drugs and alcohol have more info.

Final Thoughts

Managing BDD is a journey, but you’re not alone. These self-help strategies can empower you to take control and start feeling better about yourself. Remember, small steps can lead to big changes. You've got this!

If you have any questions or need more support, don’t hesitate to reach out. The Peachy Fam is a safe community where we support one another along our individual fitness journeys'. Take care of yourself, and keep moving forward.

Stay strong, and be kind to yourself! ?✨

Love, Nat