Body Confidence and Mental Health - In discussion with Nilushka Perera, Behavioral Health Researcher
1.We hear the term mental health alot. What is your definition of having a sound mental health?
This is a complex question. 'Sound' mental health from a personal point of view is different to all of us. A good balance mentally, for me, is to be able to cope well with the ups and downs in life, be grounded in the realities of the world and gain a sense of contentment/satisfaction with all we do. The term 'Mental health' is being thrown around a lot these days, so I think it's crucial that we understand how we can help each other and the complexity of mental health and well being as a whole.
2. How do you see the relationship between having good mental health and your level of self confidence?
I think having a good awareness of who you are and how your life experiences have moulded you and your thinking, makes you confident. Because you know where you stand. The confidence comes because you have worked on yourself and challenged yourself over and over again. Your mental health and how you are feeling can have a profound impact on your confidence, but everyone has different experiences, because how people see confidence is different. It can range from putting yourself in challenging situations to even asking a question from a friend. Having an understanding of your thoughts can hep you gain clarity and confidence as a whole.
3. What are your top 3 mental hacks to be more self confident?
4. Lot of our community struggles with negative body image. What is the root cause of this and how does mental health play a role in it.
Well, there are many social, economical, political, health factors that can contribute to body stereotyping, so obviously there I cannot say there is one root cause for it. But on a surface level, humans are used to comparing themselves with each other. Media has aggravated it by communicating and showcasing beauty standards and ideal body sizes. The judgement that comes from others who are 'supposed' to care about you, can have a negative impact on you, and you start defining yourself through the eyes of others. We grow up with comments about our appearance ( body size, skin colour etc) which are said in instead of simple hello. This can affect a person's mental health and their identity which can cascade to their relationships, friendships and even their career progression.
5. What is your personal mantra for better mental health?
I dont have one set matra. Because mental health is complex!
"Carve out time to reflect and share your experiences and be kind to yourself" is something that I carry with me.
I believe finding out what works for you and being clear about your role in this world, helps to bring things into perspective and stay grounded and content.
If you wish to reach out to someone to talk about body confidence and mental health in depth, do reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org