Ladies: Stop Talking Yourself Down, It Can Damage Your Health
A recent study published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly shows that 93% of college-age women take part in what is being called “fat talk,” meaning that they make negative comments about the way their body looks. Making negative comments about oneself is not a beneficial practice; it can decrease a person’s self-confidence, increase anxiety levels and cause or worsen depression. California based psychologist Shoshana Bennett, PhD says that even comments that seem harmless can be detrimental to the person’s health.
Researchers have said that these comments may be made as part of the person’s desire for others to negate the comment, but that doesn’t always work and the person can be left feeling worse about themselves.
Majority of these self hating comments come from women and many times are made subconsciously, they include:
- “Look at my arm jiggle”
- “I am so stressed out”
- “I’m such a pig”
- “I can’t afford this”
Maintaining a positive outlook on your life and having positive feelings about your body benefit your emotional well being and can reduce anxiety and stress levels. Instead of looking at the negative aspect of your body or your life, it is important to seek the positive. Tips to rid your vocabulary of self-depreciating words:
Do not depend on other for positive reinforcement. If you are saying something in hopes that others will tell you that you are wrong, then don’t say it.
- Instead of agonizing about your busy lifestyle, do something about it. Prioritize your tasks, organize a plan to accomplish each and enlist the aid of a helpful co-worker, employee, friend or family member.
- If you are thinking of making a negative comment about yourself, change the subject.
- Do not use the word “can’t,” it says you are not in control of your own situation. Choose words and phrases that are empowering and show that you are making your own decisions, such as: “I choose not to..”
A review of more than 200 independent studies has found that the heart responds positively to optimism!
“Positive psychological well-being — specifically, optimism and life satisfaction — reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, independent of other factors such as age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight.”[i]
The review has also shown that a positive attitude is associated with healthier blood pressure levels and heart rate variability as well as reduced biomarkers for inflammation when compared to those with a negative outlook. Remember, the lack of a negative attitude us not that same as a positive one. Find a reason to get positive and stay that way, your health will thank you for a long time to come!
[i] Julia K. Boehm, PhD, and Laura D. Kubzansky, PhD.