Are You Kind To Your Body?
What kind of words do you use when you think about and speak to your body? Are they words like:
"You are so amazing and you do so much for me"
"I am grateful for how you allow me to move, dance, work and enjoy life"
"You have so many aspects of you that I love and appreciate"
"Thank you for carrying me through life's challenges and changes" ... or are the words that you use to think about and speak to your body more like...
"You are so fat and need to lose weight"
"You are disgusting, I hate how you look"
" You are not good enough - you need to look more like [that friend/celebrity/person on Instagram]"
When you think about and talk to your body are you kind and compassionate or harsh, critical and mean?
Our bodies do so much for us - they carry us through life’s changes and journeys, digest food for us, keep breathing for us without any conscious effort on our part, allow us to move, see the world, experience life and so much more… and yet many of us will talk to our bodies more like a sworn enemy than a partner, supporter and friend. Many of us will think very negative thoughts about our body, be very critical of it and talk to it unkindly.
When we are critical of and harsh to our body, this also tends to set up a battle between our minds and our bodies. We are always trying to punish our body with too much exercise and restrictive diets or bingeing/overeating because we don't believe that our body deserves love, care and respect. We may also ignore and override our body's natural signals, such as its signals to rest on days we are tired or to eat when we are hungry and this can set us up to constantly be in a struggle against our body. When instead we work with our body, suddenly we don't feel that constant battle anymore and we can experience more harmony between mind and body. We are able to honour our body's needs and eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full, listen to what our instincts and intuition is telling us and even tune into our emotions more. Developing a greater connection with our bodies can serve not just our body image and relationship with food but also how we feel day-to-day and the choices that we make for ourselves and our lives.
The key in developing a better connection with our bodies is starting to think of our body more as a partner and a dear friend, that carries us through life and that we are going to celebrate, cherish and be kind to. Can you think of all of the ways in which your body has served you and helped you? Perhaps it has fought off illness for you or allowed you to have children and perhaps it allows you to work, walk, dance and so much more. Gently aiming to shift how to think of and talk to your body so that you are being kind and compassionate to it, rather than harsh and mean, will mean that your mind and body can work together for your happiness and long-term good health.
What kind words do you feel that your body most needs to hear right now?