At its extreme, dislike of ones looks, or worry about certain parts of the body, often, but not exclusively the face, or specific facial features, may be diagnosed as Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
The cause is unknown, but the treatment may include a combination of anti-depressant drugs, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and sometimes even anti-psychotic medications.
For 99% of us though, self dislike, self-criticism or dissatisfaction with our appearance is a more generalised but nonetheless uncomfortable frame of mind which may deeply affect confidence, self esteem and relationships with others. We think we are too fat, too thin, our nose is too big, eyes too small, bottom too saggy, thighs the wrong shape, the six pack a party pack ........ We develop distorted and unrealistic views of ourselves and how we ought to look. It can mean that we find it hard to relate to others; we can’t look people in the eye when we meet them; we play tapes in our heads of the judgements we assume people are making about us.
Body Dysmorphia frequently begins in adolescence, and it is likely that the negative judgements so many of us make about ourselves are formed in this time of personal and hormonal insecurity – if not before.
Emotional Freedom Technique is such a kind and gentle way to tease out the origins of the derogatory opinions we have formed and fixated upon over the years. It helps us to be kinder and more understanding towards ourselves, and teaches us to value who we are for what we are and not what we look like – be that pretty ordinary or drop dead gorgeous. And in learning to accept and love ourselves, warts and all, we free ourselves of the limitations of shallow, subjective and skin-deep conclusions. We learn to love the whole person – and free ourselves to BE that person with pride and joy. True beauty has little to do with shape, size or specific features; true beauty, as the saying goes, really does come from within and we can use Emotional Freedom Technique to allow our real selves to shine through the superficial shell of our physical form – by accepting and loving everything that we are. And, very often, once we have accepted ourselves, we find that we have also let go of the punishing and debilitating habits that we have used over the years to confirm our poor judgements of ourselves.