How often do you try to improve your body with things like a cleanse, a diet, a new exercise routine, or supplements? Do you end up right back where you started after just a few days? Do you judge yourself and make yourself wrong for not having enough willpower to sustain it? Does your body end up having lasting change or do you go back to the same old routine?
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. What if this perpetual cycle has nothing to do with your willpower?
What if it has everything to do with the relationship you have with your body?
For more than 15 years, I’ve been empowering people to start a new routine with their body, a routine that doesn’t start and end with judgment. And, instead starts with acknowledging the gift that the body is and has always been to your life.
Are you grateful for your body? Do you listen to it? Do you care for it as lovingly as you would your child, spouse, friend or parent? If the answer is no, that’s not surprising. We’ve grown accustomed to putting ourselves and our bodies last on the to-do list, after work, family and relationship commitments. In fact, most of us have learned to feel “selfish” if we take care of our own needs before others.
But here’s the thing: you can turn this around.
4 Tips For a Better Relationship With Your Body
By following these easy tips, you can start enjoying a better relationship with your body right now. And, it will pave the way for a new, more authentic you in every aspect of your life.
- Learn the language of your body
How do you begin to have a great relationship with your body? The same way you nurture your other relationships—communication, by being interested and asking it questions for everything that concerns it!
What’s true for your body will always make you feel lighter, and what’s not true or a lie will always make you feel heavier. So in other words, follow what is light!
Questions you can ask your body include, “Would you like to eat? If so, what?’” and “How would you like to move?” “What would you like to wear?” “Would you like to sleep?” Feeling ‘heavy’ in response to an option for food or exercise will tell you that’s not the choice that your body would like to make -at least not in this particular moment – and it can be totally different the next day. Just keep asking! It’s a muscle that you learn to build.
- Banish judgment and be grateful for your body
Most people have learned that in order to change your body, you must judge it. How light does it make you feel when you judge your body? When you judge it, what are you judging it against? Most of us are judging our bodies based on someone else’s idea of what the right body is. What if you started asking what the right body is for you?
What if instead of looking in the mirror and judging your body, you could instead look in the mirror and thank it for the way it is right now?
Now, there may be something you would like to change about your body, but what if you could approach it with gratitude & a question: ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t know what it was like to be grateful for you, and from now on I’d like to change some things, is that possible?’ Now, how does that feel? Remember, what’s true for you, will always make you feel lighter!
- Move your body!
It’s the easiest way to feel good. Get active and reap the benefits of that endorphin rush. Even if it’s the last thing you want to do—especially if it’s the last thing you want to do! Ask; body what would be fun for you today? Dance in the lounge-room, kick a ball in the backyard, or just take a walk around the neighborhood. Being in nature will enhance the feel-good factor, so wherever possible, get outdoors. Your body will thank you for it.
- Remember the value of touch
Touch is crucial for us to thrive. Studies have shown that when babies are deprived of touch, they experience a failure to thrive. In today’s world, we’ve forgotten the value of touch, with too much emphasis on sexual touch, and the fears surrounding that. Healing touch is not sexual touch; it is the nurturing, kindness and caring that our bodies need. Make time to give your body that healing touch for a few minutes every morning or evening, even it that means just gently touching your arm they way you would touch someone you care for. This is another way to show your body how grateful you are for it.
So now I invite you to make these four tips a regular date you keep with your body every day …
Why not go on a date with your body and take some time to ask it some questions? To move with it in a way that feels good? To show it some love like you would in a relationship? What is your body asking for? And, what could it change with total ease if you actually began to listen?