When people think of body image, people think only about how a person sees themselves in the mirror or how a person feels about their own body. However, the reality is often far more complex than that.
When we evaluate our body image, a lot of other sensory information comes into play too. We not only rely on what we see, but on what we feel, and think about ourselves too. Whether we have positive or negative body image depends a lot on how we interpret that information about ourselves.
Now, let’s take two people as examples. First, we have Sarah who has a great nighttime routine, goes to bed at a consistent time, and wakes up early to start her day, and has all the time in the world to prepare for her morning commute. On the other hand, we have Janet who has a pretty terrible routine. She wakes up late, barely has breakfast and the time to get ready, and the traffic she encounters is pure hell.
By some miracle, both of them arrive at the same pedestrian crossing holding their cup of coffee. Then suddenly, a careless kid bumps into both of them spilling the coffee in their hands. Now, who do you think will handle this situation better and more calmly?
Most would say it’s Sarah and that’s understandable since she’s had a way better day than Janet so far.
To go on a more scientific case, studies have shown that people in a well-lit environment with windows tend to be happier and perform better and other research has shown that people who were asked at random intervals about their body image and were more exposed to outdoor spaces had more positive body image!
Now, what are we getting at here? Being outdoors, having a well-lit environment, and just being in a positive and outgoing mood overall can truly help us have a positive body image one way or another, (specifically in blue spaces meaning near water or wood/grasslands which I think most would describe as being ‘scenic’). Indeed, people who spend more time outdoors being at one with nature or at least being more active outside with their bodies tend to have better mood and body image.
This could be attributed to the hormones released during exercise as it eases stress levels which is a huge factor in having a positive or negative body image. Also, people who spend more time outdoors are more active (activity typically improves body image), are likely a little lighter for that reason (meaning the body shapes aren’t necessarily comparable).
Read more in this pretty cool study-
In conclusion, one’s body image is an important topic that affects many individuals across cultures and societies. There are numerous factors that go into how we view ourselves regarding our body image. Knowing one more way on how we can improve our body image can help a lot in the long run. Hence, as advised previously, getting ourselves outside or in a better environment and mood can help a lot on how we view ourselves and the world in general. Therefore, it can help us to have a more positive body image. So the next time you feel bad about your body, try to go outside more, somewhere scenic, and exercise for a little bit, and who knows, you might feel a lot better!
Hope this helps