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Changing The Way We See Our Body

Sunday, 16 November 2014 00:00  by Emily S.

If you could change anything about your body…

You have probably asked your self this question before, and if you haven’t you probably are now. Maybe you are thinking about how big your ears are, or how your nose doesn’t fit your face, or how about the size of our waist? It is probably no surprise, at all, that many women often answer this question in a self-deprecating way. It is hard to think back and remember the days where are body was appreciated for what it did. When we valued it most for quickly healing from cuts and scrapes and protecting us from getting sick. A new PSA video titled “50 people 1 Question” is making its way across the Internet, as well as major news media such as TIME and CNN, illustrating the difference in the way children view their body and how adults view their body.

“Just a mermaid tail.” When a young girl was asked what she would want to change about her body she responded that she liked her body, but maybe just a mermaid tail would do. Another little girl answered with the desiring the addition of wings, so she could fly, and a little boy creatively decided on a shark’s mouth so he could eat more. Ah…to be young again, I tell myself.

As the children describe adding these colorful, yet useful, features to their body, the adults responded in an unfortunately, all too familiar way. From changing foreheads, reducing ears to abolishing stretch marks after kids and altering the shape of one’s eyes, the adults focused less on what our bodies “do” and more on what our bodies look like.

At some point in most women’s life what we appreciate our body for completely transforms. We become more interested in the aesthetics of our body, and often neglect caring for its intended purpose—its capabilities. This mind-body disconnect is linked closely with serious mental health and substance abuse issues including depression, anxiety, illicit drug and prescription abuse, issues that often require inpatient treatment.

Brookhaven Retreat is a female-only treatment center, and it specializes in the unique needs, fears, struggles and roles that women face. Although distorted body image certainly affects both men and women, there is a unique emotional and mental pressure on women to adhere to societal standards. In order to help women feel comfortable in their own body, alleviate some anxiety and depression and avoid malnutrition, each woman meets with a registered dietitian and is given an individualized nutritional plan catered to her personal needs and dietary goals.

Self-esteem and self-love are critical components in a woman’s journey to overall wellness. Here at Brookhaven Retreat, we encourage women through therapy, group classes and nutritional understanding to reconnect back to this youthful spirit, focusing nurturing mind and body wellness.

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