Do you like the man staring back at you when you look into the mirror? Do you approve of how he looks, his achievements, his strengths, and other qualities? If your answer to either of these questions is no, then you might have a negative self-image. Let’s look at what this means for your mental health and your sex life.
Understanding the effects of a negative self-image on you
Having a healthy self-image means approving of yourself and your appearance, instead of having an overly critical and negative opinion of it. It is normal to be critical of yourself at one point or another. This is especially true when you are going through a difficult time in your life. However, if this cynical and negative idea of yourself becomes your everyday reality, it is a cause for concern.
Healthy body image is part of having a positive self-image. Men who like and accept how they look are more confident and have higher self-esteem. There are several reasons why you may have a negative body image. Even for men, there is a conventional model for what is considered attractive. Think, six-pack abs, being tall and toned.
Not conforming to this model can be a distressing experience. Further, issues such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and even the size of your penis may all feed into a negative body image and consequently, a negative self-image.
Poor self image and self esteem
Having a poor image of yourself lowers your self-esteem and has the potential to cause mental health issues such as anxiety and even depression. It also adds to the stress you feel daily. Many often resort to unhealthy defence or coping mechanisms to deal with this. What makes this more complex is the co-relationship between sexual problems like erectile dysfunction and poor mental health. Studies show that men with depression have a higher chance of having a lower libido and impotence; the corollary is also true.
Therefore, having a negative self-image can impede your sexual wellbeing and drag you further down the rabbit hole of dissatisfaction. Now that you know why and how a negative self-image can hurt you let’s see what you can do about it.
A brief guide to feeling good about yourself
You must have heard the saying; life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you deal with it. This means that your perspective plays a huge role in determining how your life turns out. Let’s look at a couple of things you can do to create an empowering outlook on life and get a positive self-image.
1.As an individual, you have strengths and weaknesses. It is easy to get swept up in what you are not good at than to recognize what you’re great at. While being critical and taking stock of one’s life is essential, taking the time to acknowledge your wins, and nurture yourself is equally important.
2. Sex is a physical activity. However, instead of just focusing on how your body looks, why not try focusing on how much pleasure you can give and receive. Chances are your partner does not care about your belly fat, as much as he or she does about the experience you are having together. If you are feeling insecure, communicating with your partner goes a long way in allaying fears and may even strengthen your relationship.
3.Make sure that you are eating a balanced diet and working out regularly. Exercising not only gives you a good physique but helps release endorphins, which act as mood and energy boosters.
4. Take time to meditate. Meditation is an excellent way of de-stressing and becoming more mindful. It helps you deal with life more patiently and maturely. You may even consider using positive affirmations to help boost your self-esteem.
5.Volunteering is a great way of feeling good about yourself. There is much joy to be had in contributing to the world around you, making a difference. In addition to volunteering, trying new things, new activities can help boost your confidence and self-esteem as well.
6. Getting help. Speaking to a therapist or a counsellor can go a long way in helping you deal with a negative self-image. Further, if you suffer from issues such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, do not lose hope. There are many treatment options available that you can explore.
In the hustle-bustle of everyday lives, we often forget to put ourselves first and only realize it when things have gotten out of hand. That being said, there are steps you can take and things you can do, as mentioned above, to learn to love yourself again. You need to realize that you are unique, and your relationship with yourself is dynamic. It keeps changing and will not always be the same. Achieving good mental health and a positive self-image is a continuous process. While it may seem like a lot of work initially, it is worth the effort.