Mindfulness could promote positive body image

body image
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Making people more aware of their own internal body signals, such as heartbeat or breathing rate, could promote positive body image, according to new research published in the journal Body Image.

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University recruited a sample of 646 adults and found that there were statistically significant relationships between people's interoceptive awareness—the extent to which people are aware of internal signals given out by the body such as heartbeat or feelings of discomfort or hunger—and .

While previous studies on the subject have tended to recruit small groups of young women, this study included both men and women, aged between 18 and 76.

The study found that people who can sustain attention towards their internal body signals tended to report higher levels of positive body image. It was also found that people who trust their internal body signals are more likely to hold a positive view of their own body, and be less preoccupied with being overweight.

Lead author Jenny Todd said: "Unfortunately, experiences of negative body image are extremely common, to the extent that some academics consider this a 'normal' experience for women in Western society.

"Our research finds associations between the awareness of internal body signals and measures of body image. This could have implications for promoting positive body image, for example modifying interoceptive awareness through mindfulness-based practices.

"However the research, which was conducted with exclusively British participants, also demonstrates that the relationship between interoceptive and image is complex and requires further investigation."


Explore further

Your body image is impacted by those around you

More information: Jennifer Todd et al, Multiple dimensions of interoceptive awareness are associated with facets of body image in British adults, Body Image (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2019.02.003
Citation: Mindfulness could promote positive body image (2019, February 28) retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-02-mindfulness-positive-body-image.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more