When we emerge out of winter, most of us are far from at our finest.
Central heating has taken its toll, our skin is less than lustrous, we are often pale and some will suffer from SAD syndrome.
It’s time to take positive action!
There is a direct link between feeling positive about our appearance and having good self-esteem. When you have good self-esteem, you value yourself more, take less time in comparing yourself to others physically, are less critical of your appearance and recognise that you have individual qualities and strengths that need to be celebrated.
The problem with negative thinking and feelings is that once you start to focus on shortcomings it becomes very easy to only see problems. Negative thinking has a way of leading to more negative thinking.
Feeling confident and capable isn’t all about your looks, BUT I can’t tell you how many times patients have said to me,
“I feel so much better after treatment, because I am making a positive move to correct what I dislike about myself. It makes me feel better.”
So, are we encouraging people to be negative about their appearance, or to empower them to be able to say
“I want this, I can make this change”?
Being a doctor, I take this side of my practice very seriously. It is my job to ‘do no harm’ as my Hippocratic Oath requires. If at any time I feel that treating a patient turns the corner into body dysmorphia, a condition which means you can’t see yourself as you are, or the treatment requests become too radical, I will have that conversation with my patient and will refuse treatment and suggest seeking help. The experience is no longer positive for them.
Body image and self-esteem are so closely linked in some people that they directly influence emotions. Feeling good about your appearance positively impacts of mental health. So, when someone comes into my surgery wishing to stay the inevitable for a few years, to correct an imbalance of their face, to help them get rid of the lines caused by smoking (which they have now given up and don’t want to be reminded of), I am only too pleased to be able to help.
Many of the treatments we offer focus on ‘rejuvenation’ and are given to people who want to look after themselves (and this often involves healthy living and exercise) and who want to take a little control at what nature is throwing at them. This positive approach helps them to feel good about themselves, it helps with their positive mental health.
As we all come out from the Covid legacy of isolation and life begins to return to normal, so many of my patients are looking forward with excitement at having regained their freedoms and choices; one of those choices is whether to resume treatment or to let it go.
Most have returned to the clinic, and we respect the wishes of those that don’t. As one of my previous blogs discussed, sometime there is a natural change in what treatment you want and sometime you may feel you are just where you need to be right now… It’s a discussion we have often in the clinic. My patients, on the whole, prefer ‘to grow old gracefully’, and I help them to do so and when they need to take positive action to make them feel great about themselves again, if I can help, I do.
So, stepping into Spring, where are you with your thinking?