Why Looking at a mirror is important?

Why Looking at a mirror is important?
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 25-04-2023

Explore your right therapist by answering the questions below.

For Individual
Get Started
For Dating Couples
Get Started
Get Started
For Married Couples
Get Started


When was the last time you took some time to look at yourself in the mirror?

People have either gotten too busy in their daily activities or are not willing to look themselves in the eye. Sometimes looking at yourself in the mirror can get uncomfortable. You can quickly spiral down to self-criticism and begin negative thinking about yourself.

Mirrors may evoke some feelings within us. These feelings are strong tools to help us change perspectives and view several things about ourselves differently that are probably hidden or seen in another light.

It is in our nature to be seen, to be looked at. In your childhood, you begin to make sense of your physical being when in front of the mirror. And in our childhood, it is important for us to spend time understanding our physical nature for emotional, social, and environmental development.

Technology, Media, and Mirror Gazing

Our lives have been simplified by the improved advanced technology that is growing each day. But it is also separating us from us. We spend way less ‘me-time’, and looking in the mirror is hardly ever done.

Media has portrayed (and continues to do so) the human physical body with many rules and categories. It has shown us the most ideal versions of human bodies and we have slowly begun to accept those as benchmarks. This has led us to disconnect from our bodies and even the tiniest flaw or fat is a massive trouble!

Acceptance of our natural being is taken away by camera filters that instantly wipe out any flaw on our skin. While people enjoy it because of its creative nature, it is making us feel worse about our natural skin and bodies when we look at ourselves in the mirror. This can make you avoid looking at yourself in the mirror altogether.

As the critical self grows within us, let s connect with ourselves before is too late.

What is Mirror Gazing?

Looking in the mirror is so much more than simply staring at your physical body.  You are not only staring at your physical self but also looking down into your inner self. Mirror meditation is a simple practice you can do daily for 5-10 minutes. Mirror meditation has been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression and increases self-compassion (Wells, 2016).

The goal of mirror meditation is to be with yourself without any agenda and just let be whatever comes. There is no right or wrong, practice this with the simple intention to be kind to yourself.

Position yourself in front of the mirror. You can stand or sit on the floor if you have a full-length mirror. You may wear what feels comfortable for you. And begin to see and reflect on yourself.

Mirror gazing and neuropsychology behind it.

Research in neuropsychology tells us that the cognitive and other brain mechanisms we use while perceiving others’ faces are the same while we perceive our faces.

It is argued that our perception of other people’s faces is influenced by our feelings and emotions towards the person and therefore similarly, our feelings and emotions toward ourselves affect how we respond to our reflection in the mirror.

The negative feelings you have towards yourself influence mirror gazing and this results in starting the vicious cycle where you develop a more negative feeling about your reflection and thus its response.

In the process of looking at a mirror, people activate some regions of the social attitudes in the brain that brings out the response corresponding to their internalized affective attitude towards themselves.

Importance of mirror gazing:

You increase your self-compassion. 

Looking at yourself in the mirror helps to embrace a more realistic point of view. Everyone has flaws and nobody is perfect. Mirror gazing allows you to accept your flaws. Acknowledge that these flaws in you don’t make you any less worthy of acceptance and affection.

You build emotional awareness.

More often than not, we avoid feeling some emotions that we do not want to deal with. When you stand in front of the mirror, you can t escape such emotions, and you finally feel your true feelings. It’s mirror magic!

You develop confidence and self-esteem.

In these busy times, we are all running. Some of us running from ourselves. They are hiding behind. This lowers our self-esteem and confidence to even look at ourselves. As you begin to mirror meditate, you develop your confidence in yourself by being friends with yourself. As this skill develops you simultaneously increase your self-esteem.

You begin you strengthen your sense of self.

It is natural that the more time you spend with somebody, you strengthen your relationship. But have you done that with yourself? Spending some time with yourself strengthens your sense of self which is allowing you to know yourself better.

What does Mirror gazing do?

The goal of mirror meditation is simple to acknowledge your being, however, it may be-no judgments. It is a combination of mirror gazing and mindfulness meditation.

In the beginning, it may seem awkward, and you may feel extremely self-conscious. In the small glances we have in the mirror daily it is usually to fix a flaw- your hair or your makeup or adjust your clothing in a way. Mirror meditation allows you to acknowledge and accept your overall look.

How to do mirror gazing meditation?

  1. In a room (or bathroom; where you are alone), get comfortable by standing or sitting in front of a mirror (preferably large to reflect yourself completely).

  2. Relax your muscles by taking some good deep breaths.

  3. Stare in the reflection of your eyes and confidently greet yourself.

  4. Look at yourself carefully. Pay attention to your breathing as well.

  5. Acknowledge your flaws and with it more importantly recognize your perfections too.

  6. If any judgemental thoughts come in, do not ignore it. Accept the thoughts, and with an exhale let them go.

  7. Smile and recall a good moment. This will build your comfort level.

  8. After spending some quality time looking at yourself, move to the next phase of affirmations.

Here are a few best affirmations you can use:

‘I am lovable, and I love myself’.

‘I am grateful for my body’.

‘I am wonderful and beautifully made’.

‘My body is amazing, and I am healing’.

‘I am full of courage’.

‘I am thankful’.

Mirrors reveal much more to us than we know. The mirror shows you so much more than what you actually see in yourself. Mirror meditation can open up many things for you.

Does looking in the mirror help with anxiety?

Anxiety builds on fear. Fear restricts many aspects of our lives to reduce anxiety. Mirror gazing can help you with anxiety as it allows you to sit with yourself and see yourself through. While meditation has its own benefits, added advantages from mirror gazing help you reflect on your thoughts and modify your processes leaving you in a better mood. With an improved mood, you will surely see a reduction in your anxiety level as you enhance your confidence.

Set up an appointment with yourself to gain more insight into your thinking patterns and confidence.

Does looking in the mirror help overcome depression?

Depression comes along with many negative thinking patterns and a black-and-white view of the world and yourself. Depression can darken your views and meditation and reflection has shown to help people with depression.

Mirror gazing can help with depression. Looking at yourself in the mirror will help you acknowledge yourself in and out as a whole. It can help you accept that nobody is perfect, and flaws make you human. Meditation can reduce negative thinking patterns and enhance your outlook on life.

Online Counselling & Therapy
Get help for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues
Online counselling with HopeQure

What type of Online Therapy are you looking for?

Layer 1


Seeking a one on one counselling service with a trained psychologist?

Get Started
Layer 1

Dating Couples

Seeking a couples therapist specialized in dealing with romantic relationships?

Get Started
Layer 1


Seeking counselling services for an individual or a parent of a child in the age range of 13-19.

Get Started
Layer 1

Married Couple

Seeking marriage counselling from a trained psychotherapist?

Get Started

Connect with an expert

  • Video Call
  • Messaging
  • Phone