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It’s an age-old stereotype that people in the UK have a ‘stiff upper lip’; that we don’t talk about our feelings and instead we soldier on in the face of adversity. However, it’s an attitude that we here at YourGP are keen to challenge, because we believe that when it comes to our feelings, it’s good to talk.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year the theme is body image – how we think, feel and talk about our bodies. Body image can have a huge impact on one’s mental health, as new research by the Mental Health Foundation shows. Based on a survey of more than 4,500 UK adults, their latest findings revealed that when asked how they felt about their body image in the last year, 34% of people felt down, 20% felt shame, and 19% felt disgusted.
Anxiety, depression, eating disorders and many other mental health issues are often interlinked with poor body image so it’s clear that action is needed to build and promote positive body image.
How can we promote positive body image?
Parents and carers can play a vital part in positively influencing the next generation, helping them to form a healthy attitude to their bodies. Children pick up so much from adults – their behaviour, opinions and choice of language – all of which can have a lasting effect, so it’s important we’re mindful of the example we’re setting.
Of course, it’s not just children and young people that be affected by negative body image. The lack of body diversity depicted in adverts and the promotion of the ‘ideal’ body via social media can potentially affect the way we adults view and compare our bodies. It’s therefore important to remind ourselves that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.
Most people have minor things they’d perhaps like to change about their bodies, but if persistent negative thoughts are impacting on your mental health, it’s imperative you seek help.
Top tips for positive mental health
You can find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week and positive body image at www.mentalhealth.org.uk. Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to a professional, call YourGP on 0131 225 5656 or email email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help you.
I had been at this practice since late 2018. The staff have been nothing but amazing! The care given here has to be the best care I’ve ever received at any practice. Very polite, greeted with a smile and always made sure you were comfortable.
The response times are extremely quick, always on that day or early next morning, pointing you into the right direction. Even if they were unable to assist, they would always make sure you knew where to go and what to do.
Your appointments are always accommodated to your needs, some imes I was unable to make my routine appointments in person so they would happily offer a Skype call which made things easier as I live a few hours away, but was always happy to make the trip when I could as it was always a pleasant experience.
I cannot thank this practice enough for the help that they gave me, I now feel confident and comfortable with myself and I would definitely recommend their services!