THUNDER BAY – Health – Self image improved by listening to your heartbeat. “People have the remarkable ability to perceive themselves from the perspective of an outside observer. However, there is a danger that some women can develop an excessive tendency to regard their bodies as ‘objects’, states Dr Manos Tsakiris from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway. “While neglecting to value them from within, for their physical competence and health.
“Women who ‘self-objectify’, in this way, are vulnerable to eating disorders and a range of other clinical conditions such as depression and sexual dysfunction,” according to the latest research.
Self Image Improves
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway university asked healthy female student volunteers aged between 19 – 26, to concentrate hard and count their own heartbeats, simply by “listening” to their bodies. Their accuracy in this heartbeat perception test was compared with their perception of their bodies as objects, measured by scores on the Self-Objectification Questionnaire.
According to the results, the more accurate the women were in detecting their heartbeats, the less they tended to think of their bodies as objects. These findings have important implications for understanding body image dissatisfaction and clinical disorders which are linked to self-objectification, such as anorexia.
Researcher Vivien Ainley from Royal Holloway said: “We believe that our measure of body awareness, which assesses how well women are able to listen to their internal signals, will prove a valuable addition to research into self-objectification and women’s resulting mental health.”
Mother Earth’s heartbeat
The latest research may not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Aboriginal culture. At a Pow Wow, drums represent the heartbeat of Mother Earth. They are the pulse of the universe. In traditional Aboriginal culture the drum is a focal point to centre a person, and a society. As the heartbeat of Mother Earth it is a way for people to get in touch with the earth, and with themselves.