How to stop obsessing over your body

(aka self-objectification)


Are you constantly obsessing over what others think about your body, even when nobody is watching you?

If so, you’re engaging in what’s called ‘self-objectification’.

Studies show that engaging in self-objectification puts you at a disadvantage.

When your head is filled with worries about the way your body looks, you can’t focus properly on your studies, work, etc.

So in today’s post, I’m sharing three ways to stop self-objectification that are recommended by body image experts.

Watch or read below:


What is self-objectification?

According to Lindsay Kite, PhD of Take Back Beauty, self-objectification is when you constantly think about your appearance even when you think your appearance is ‘good’.

It’s the process of constantly monitoring your body from an outsider’s perspective, even when there isn’t anyone looking at you.

Studies show that if girls or women are self-objectifying, they perform worse on maths and reading comprehension tests and can’t perform physical tests as well.

So if even a small part of your headspace is tied up with thinking about your looks, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Self-objectification and body image

Self-objectification also goes hand in hand with negative body image. That’s because it’s very difficult to feel good about your body if you’re judging it constantly.

Even if you feel positively about your body, if you’re thinking about it purely in terms of appearance, your body image is likely to worsen over time as your appearance changes.

In order to feel better in your body, you need to see yourself as more than a body. This means taking the focus off your body.

Beating the body checking habit

If you’re someone who is engaging in self-objectification, I’ve got a few tips to help you quit the habit:

Awareness is key

Firstly, become aware when you are self-objectifyingNotice your thoughts and behaviours and make a note of these. Look back over your notes to see if you can spot any themes.

Is there a reoccurring thought or a particular situation that triggers self-objectification? This step is all about raising your awareness, so try not to judge your thoughts or behaviours.

Create a distraction

Secondly, once you’ve got a greater awareness of your self-objectification habits, begin to disrupt them as they occur.

So when you notice you are body checking or thinking about your appearance, interrupt this by doing something else.

You might choose to engage in the same activity every time you notice yourself self-objectifying. Decide what works for you.

It might be something physical like doing star jumps, saying a mantra out loud such as “I’m more than a body” or it could be as subtle as wearing a rubber band around your wrist and pinging it each time your self-objectify.

Carry on regardless

Thirdly, notice the self-objectification and carry on doing what you were doing anyway!

Often, certain situations will trigger the self-objectifying behaviours. Things like social situations, exercising, doing a presentation.

Even if you have the desire to check or fix some aspect of your appearance, do your best to carry on anyway.

Curbing self-objectification is worth it

When you don’t respond to the urge to check or fix, you’re building your body image resilience.

If you can fully engage in whatever you’re doing and focus on being in the moment, you may begin to enjoy what you’re doing and forget your body!

Working to curb self-objectification and see yourself as more than a body is important for building a healthier body image.

I’d love to hear about your experience of self-objectification and how you found these tips.  Please leave a comment below.

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