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Satisfaction with one's own body is very connected to happiness, according to a study

Satisfaction with one's own body is very connected to happiness, according to a study

May 9, 2021

In the modern way of life the image has a fundamental importance , and this seems to apply also in the way in which we judge ourselves. That is why the way we value our appearance is very relevant. The physicist has a role in the search for work and relationships with others, but also in something much more important: our self-image and self-esteem.

In relation to this, a team of researchers from Chapman University has recently published a study in which psychological factors that are related to satisfaction with one's appearance are explored and the body weight of a total of 12,000 Americans. One of the main conclusions of this study is that the way in which one's appearance is valued has a very close relationship with satisfaction with one's life trajectory, something that we can also simply call happiness.

However, there are some nuances in these results.

Neither men are saved

We tend to associate the concern for appearances with the female sex, but this study breaks with this idea. In women, satisfaction with one's body was the third most powerful predictor of life satisfaction , below the economic situation and satisfaction with the couple. In men, only one element was more related to life satisfaction than the way in which one's physical self is valued: satisfaction with the economic situation.

These results point out that, at least in American society or, by extension, in Western cultures, male self-image is far from irrelevant.

Very demanding with the weight

This study also reveals that among the respondents there is a relatively low percentage of people satisfied with their own weight. Only 24% of men and 20% of women feel between very satisfied and extremely satisfied with him . If we add to this proportion of people surveyed those who feel "somewhat satisfied" with what they weigh, the whole only reaches half of the people consulted. In addition, satisfaction with body weight and satisfaction with physical appearance have proven to be extremely related.

These results do not say much about the real weight of Americans or their health status, but that attends to the way they value their body weight . And what has been found reinforces the idea that a lot of importance is being placed on the (fictitious) need to conform to beauty standards in which the body fat index has to be minimal and, in the case of women, many areas of the body should have the smallest volume possible. As a result, many people believe they are far from the ideal weight.

You may be interested in reading this post: "Does the physicist matter when it comes to flirting? 3 reflections on beauty"

The weight marks the agenda

Weight is important in the general welfare levels of people, beyond what is traditionally understood as health. For example, The results of this study show that people with greater dissatisfaction with their own weight show a clear tendency to show low levels of self-esteem and dissatisfaction with the sex life.

In addition, people with greater dissatisfaction with their weight tended to show a style of relating to others more governed by anxiety and fear of rejection, obtaining relatively high scores in neuroticism. This can lead to a vicious circle in which the fear of losing the deal with others generates a greater concern for the aspect itself, which leads to greater concern and anxiety about social relationships, etc.

In contrast, people more satisfied with their physique tended to obtain higher scores in extraversion and openness to the experience, in addition to developing a type of ties with others in which fear does not have a relevant role.

Beyond the image

Regardless of whether we believe that the personal image matters more or less, this study shows that the starting situation is what it is, and many people feel a type of dissatisfaction related not so much with what they really weigh but with the way they are. see themselves physically.

For this part of society, the question of image and aesthetics can not be ignored, because This facet of their identity is closely related to fears and insecurities that affect them in their day to day .

What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | Robert Waldinger (May 2021).

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