4 Ways Mindfulness Can Improve Your Relationship With Your Body
I’ll admit I’ve struggled with mindfulness myself and have definitely been guilty of checking my phone first thing in the morning, even before going to bathroom. It’s such a terrible way to start the day as we let ourselves be distracted by technology instead of checking in with our bodies. To build a healthy relationship with ourselves it’s important that we learn to listen to our bodies signals. In this post I’m going to share 4 Ways Mindfulness Can Improve Your Relationship With Your Body.
Being mindful simply means that you’re taking the time to be present in your body and feel it’s emotions or sensations. Our body talks to us in subtle ways and if we don’t listen over a period of time, it ends up screaming at us with different ailments, disease or injuries. To prevent our physical and mental health from getting to this point, it’s important we practice becoming mindful.
Mindfulness connects us to our body.
Often we are so busy with all of life’s demands or distractions in this technological age, that we can go through a whole day without being mindful. Have you ever experienced a time where you finished eating something and realized you barely tasted it? When we practice being mindful we get to experience sensations, emotions, energy and any sign our body is giving us. People become so used to feeling like crap that it becomes their normal because they’re so distracted with other things.
They take medication to bandaid headaches or stomach pain so they can keep plowing through their day. It’s a badge of honour to be busy. When we become mindful we can honour our bodies needs and be in communion with it. We start to feed it when it’s hungry. We start to notice when it doesn’t actually need food and needs rest, self care, sleep, movement or something other than food. It helps us figure out what our triggers are that lead us to reaching for food for comfort.
Mindfulness Helps Us Manage Stress.
This is huge. When we aren’t taking the time to be quiet and calm the mind so we can tune in, we end up in that chronic fight or flight state. Our mind has a huge impact on the stress we experience and out body can’t tell the difference between being in a real stressful, traumatic event or thinking of a stressful event. Either way, our body responds the same by increasing cortisol. Chronically elevated this leads to an underactive thyroid, insulin resistance, digestive issues, imbalanced sex hormones, mood disorders and so on.
Stressing about work, our bodies, food, exercise, family, all these things create a stress response in our bodies. We can mitigate it by truly being mindful and if we’re tired skipping the intense workout and going for a walk instead. Or if we’re hungry, we can eat instead of waiting until our next scheduled meal time. If we’re reaching for food but realize we’re not truly hungry and just triggered, we can then choose to deal with it differently instead of zoning out with food. Breaking these habits make us feel better in our bodies and naturally improve our relationship.
Mindfulness Naturally Improves Our Eating Habits.
Like I mentioned above, mindfulness can help us listen to our bodies true hunger cues and nourish it when we’re truly hungry. Then we can also become aware of when we’re actually just reaching for food to fill a void and numb out. Being mindful around meals, also improves our digestion as it brings us into the rest and digest state allowing our digestive system to properly assimilate nutrients in the foods we’re eating.
Mindfulness will also help us stop listening to everyone and their guru and instead learn what our body feels best eating. We’re all biochemically unique and only we will know what works best for our body. Yes, it will take trying different things and experimenting but not from a place of restriction.
Mindfulness Makes Moving Our Bodies Easy.
Our bodies have an innate desire to move in different ways and to be active. When we become mindful we can feel how nourishing movement is, especially spending time outdoors. We can feel how sitting all day affects us both mentally and physically. We begin to crave movement and exercising no longer becomes a chore but something we look forward to.
We also begin to move more throughout the whole day, as we realize that one hour out of the day isn’t enough to keep our body feeling great. We find a movement practice that works for us and we find fun. Our bodies want to be strong, flexible and agile. On the other spectrum if you’re someone who over exercises you start to notice that your body wants rest and maybe craves a different type of movement like yoga or walking. Mindfulness helps us honour our bodies need for movement.
These are 4 Ways That Mindfulness Can Improved Your Relationship With Your Body. It has for me and all it takes is practice. I will be writing a follow-up post, that will include how to actually practice mindfulness with tips you can implement immediately.