Unfortunately, so much information about what you should look like is available you may ignore what your body needs.
I sat in my car in New York City, waiting for my daughter to come out of a store. Parking is a challenge there. As I sat, I watched many people walking by me and saw that people look different, so how can there be one way to look — yet many of us feel we should look a certain way — creates an inner battle in our bodies.
Listen to your body
Listening to what your body needs and what it is telling you will guide you toward taking care of it and loving your body.
Your body is talking to you all day long, though we may not be in touch or choose to bypass what the body tells us. For example, you feel tired, yet keep pushing to get something done. Occasionally that’s ok, yet daily, it adds stress to your body.
- Time – take the time to check out how your body is feeling. Are you stressed, tired, hungry, angry, or overwhelmed by too much to do? If you are any of these, stop long enough to check in to see how you can best support your body to remove the stress.
- Thoughts – your body listens to your thoughts, even if you are not. These thoughts tell your body that you don’t look good, create shame around how you look and must lose weight to be loved. There are so many thoughts about your body in a given day– start to become aware of what you tell yourself.
- Stress – There is good stress, yet most stress is chronic and puts us in fight-or-flight mode, which impacts our body’s immune system. We must focus on building a robust immune system, as this is how we care for our bodies.
Actions to create peace in your body
There is no one magic action that will reduce stress and increase respect for your body.
Instead, what you do daily makes a difference in your future body. How often have you heard someone older say, “I wish I took better care of my body.” Too often, as we age, our bodies remind us we didn’t take the time to listen and care for it.
- Timer – set a timer to go off every hour, take a minute to take deep breaths, and check out your body and mind and what it says to you.
- Journal – record how and what you feel in your body. Maybe your gut is telling you that you need to take a vacation or eat healthily, or a relationship is stressing you out. You don’t need to make decisions at this point; only train to listen to your body. Awareness is knowledge.
- Food – listen to how your body reacts to what you eat.
- Movement – is your body telling you more activity is necessary to reduce tension in your body.
- Acceptance – is a loving gift you give yourself – focus more on your health than your looks. There is nothing wrong with looking good, though looks can’t be your primary value.
Have you struggled with body image? Do you believe what you need to do for others is more important than taking care of your body? How often have you judged your body?
Take the time to heal your thoughts and body from the daily stress of
“not being good enough.”
Women’s Group Topic
Body image has impacted women worldwide, as how your look is your primary value in society. How has your concern over body image impacted your well-being? Have you changed your view of your value and instead built a healthy body that you love, no matter what you look like on the outside?
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we must stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
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