There are a number of reasons why so many teenagers experience body image struggles, one of which is our cultural relationship to emotions. When we feel uncomfortable feelings like sadness or loneliness or rejection, we don’t have the resources for relating to or soothing these feelings, so we look for ways avoid them by distracting ourselves with something that makes us FEEL BETTER IN THE MOMENT.
It’s easy to forget how sad we are when we’re eating, drinking, working out, buying clothes, dieting, or looking on social media.
We live in a world where everything is rapidly advancing. It seems that every day there is something new that has been invented with the sole purpose of making our lives simpler and easier. And it’s not only technology that is moving at an accelerated rate – there are also consistent advances in healing, therapy, and self-care. Everywhere you turn there are new tips for implementing mindfulness at home, and new interventions that are being introduced in schools.
So why is it that kids these days seem to be able to tolerate LESS and have MORE negative reactions to the world around them? Why are there so many young people diagnosed with anxiety and depression? Why are teen suicide rates continually rising??
There are many factors that play into this, but one major issue that is often overlooked is that the entire foundation of our current culture actually DISCOURAGES resilience.
Self-esteem is a term that has been used a lot in the past few decades. By now we all know that it’s something we SHOULD be boosting in children, but what’s less clear is HOW.
We’ve heard that we should encourage young people with positive reinforcement and tell them/show them we care about them, but how do we keep them feeling good about themselves when they reach that age where they stop listening to a word we say?? (which these days is getting younger and younger!)
What happens when they’re getting their information online from sources we can’t control, when they’re glued to social media full of unrealistic images they can never live up to, and when they are spending all their time with people who might not treat them very well? What do we do then??