On the personal, social and psychological aspects of the body that define identity, interaction and emotions.
The word “body” evokes many images, some of which are sexual and others of anaesthetic, spiritual or even clinical nature. We perceive the human body differently, and this explains how indifferent or concerned we are about our organization. For example, some monks living in the Himalayas sometimes live without clothing and food and are reduced to skeletons. In this sense, some women in fashion companies want to live on a minimum of clothing and food, but of course, the goal would be completely different in both cases. Monks try to go beyond the body and understand their meaning in life through sacrifice, while people who are very aware of the body do not care too much about being physically attractive. So we see that similar behaviour can have very different goals, and it’s funny how different people perceive the body differently.
Nowadays, men and women throw clothes and show their bodies for all sorts of reasons: to protest global warming, to make money, to give money to charity, to protect the environment, and even to sell a car. Philosophers would not agree that the body is that important if you only consider it as an instrument or tool for expressing personal/interpersonal identity. However, the body is an essential aspect of art, culture and society, and since the body is given so much importance today, a psychology of the body is required.
I will try to build body psychology by looking at three aspects:
- Body image: It is our perception of the body or personal issue that gives us a sense of identity.
- Body language: This is the most essential communicative or social aspect of the body and helps us to interact with others. and
- Body awareness: This highlights the mind-body connection or psychological aspect that shows the relationship between our thoughts and the body’s reactions.
The body is, therefore, above all, a tool through which we recognize ourselves and others. Our perception of our own body or that of others is directly linked to the body image. The body image is the perception of our shape and size and fundamentally affects our physical appearance. The body defines our identity, and through our collection, we project ourselves onto the world. So we are what organizations are, we have no other character. It is almost as if we are trapped in a particular body, and the image of the agency determines whether we like the body in which we are or not.
A positive body image is necessary to develop self-confidence and a feeling of inner beauty. A negative body image would mean a decrease in taste for the body, and this is observed, for example, in young men and women who may be increasingly concerned about their excess fat or muscle deficiency. Men try to build muscle, and women try to reduce their weight based on the social perception of beauty that directly affects their body image. However, the human body could be perceived from an aesthetic, erotic or clinical point of view.
The way we perceive our bodies is related to the way we see the bodies of others, so our idea of a perfect body primarily triggers our negative body image. If an obese girl believes that a slim woman has the ideal body, she naturally develops a negative body image. The body image thus influences our personal life, our lifestyle and our emotions. Determines our direct relationship with the body.
While maintaining one’s appearance should be encouraged, an open concern about one’s body image can affect a person’s well-being. Given the tremendous importance that nudity, cosmetic surgery, the perfect figure, beauty contests and such topics have in most urban societies today, there are, of course, many debates and questions about body image. Psychologists and sociologists must determine to what extent men and women can pursue their real interests and whether social enthusiasm should be limited in the physical factor.
This naturally brings us to the other most crucial function of the body: the interactive element and the role of the body in communication. Body language is just as important in communication as verbal language, and two-to-one interaction is mainly based on non-verbal communication, which is mostly through body language.
Body language cues are sometimes even more important than what we are told through verbal language. If your girlfriend says that she loves you, it is verbal communication, but if she also shows a deep interest in other men, it is non-verbal communication. You could consider both methods of communication. Just as important to determine if your girlfriend loves you. The body is an essential means of conveyance: our eyes, our lips, our hands and our gestures, our postures and our movements determine our thoughts and feelings.
The facial expression is also essential, and sometimes we try to understand a person through his facial expression rather than his words. So when someone praises you when you least expect it, you may want to determine whether the person in their praise is genuine or just sarcastic by examining their facial expression. When verbal language is deceptive, body language reveals the truth and real feelings or intentions. The body is an interface between you and another person, and body language is a social aspect of this interface and an essential part of our social life and daily communication.
Keeping your eyes open while talking to someone can be uncomfortable, and hands at your waist can indicate aggression. Specific postures can be disrespectful in certain cultures, although there are postures and universal gestures that are common to all religions. Body language is, therefore, not just about our sense of identity, but also about how we maintain this identity and express ourselves through social interaction and communication.
The last part of this discussion deals with body awareness, and many recent studies on the mind-body connection have shown how stress-related events can affect the body’s physiological mechanisms. For example, people who have been asked to participate in stressful events such as dangerous sports or even cultural activities such as theatre have been found to have higher blood pressure.
To develop good emotional health, the body must be controlled by body awareness with the mind. If we are “aware” of changes in the body due to stress or emotional changes, we can also monitor our thoughts so that our physiological systems are not affected. Therefore, control of the mind with the body or body with the account through exercise or meditation or other stress reduction/relaxation techniques can help maintain a mind-body balance that is essential for healthy living.
Although the connection between mind and body was known to many cultures in ancient times, it is a relatively recent discovery in psychology. Psychology has emphasized the connection between mind and body in cognitive psychology and health psychology, and research initiatives in psychology on the relationship between mind and body are still in their infancy.
The body is an essential aspect of our existence, and that’s almost all we need to define our reality. It gives us a sense of identity by emphasizing the body image, giving us social skills and helping us communicate with others through body language. However, through the psychological and almost spiritual aspect of the mind-body connection, we develop physical awareness and recognize how the body can be used beyond a level of physical attractiveness or social interaction, broader relationship with the mind and even with the universe. After all, being human means not only being in a body but also going beyond the organization and its limits to achieve our ultimate goal of existence.