Making Friends with Your Body

By Alexa Ashworth – MFTC 

verified by Psychology Today

Do you ever think of your body as your friend? What would it take for you to think about creating a friendship with your own body?  Think about a time you were truly in tune with your body and able to notice its vibration from within.  Do you remember feeling overjoyed, full of love, or possibly a sense of new awakening?

Take a moment to think about a past childhood experience or a very recent experience where you were embraced with self-love and acceptance.  When you met your body with love how did you start engaging with the environment around you?  What were the thoughts you gave yourself?  When you feel what it is like to be you, your own lifeforce in the world, you start connecting with everything in a vast and curious way.  It is as if certain parts of you are able to connect with the grass below or the sky above becoming extended pieces of who you are.

I personally go back to my memories of walking to the nearby lake when I was a little girl.  I use to float on my back in the water and stare up at the sky until I became a part of the clouds.  My body was weightless while I was in this meditative state and everything disappeared around me.

There was a sense of freedom in these moments.  The freedom allowed me to love who I was and where I was in the moment.  I like remembering what different days at the lake meant to me because I am still capable of inviting this same experience in my life today.

I believe as my mind and body have grown over the years, my ability to love the very shape I am in is something I have been able to experience within each stage of physical transformation.  It may be a different lake; however, the sense of freedom remains the same.

Often, I believe it is easy for us to think in order to connect with our body it has to be through constant physical activity.  What we forget is that we have everything we need to tune in and listen to our body’s needs at any given moment.

Research states in order to start listening to our body’s we must respect them first.  It takes commitment, replacing negative thoughts with thoughts of appreciation and gratitude.

One simple practice you may try is closing your eyes and labeling what parts of your body are holding tension and what parts of yourself you are quick to judge.  After recognizing these thoughts, tend to the areas of tension by stretching that body part out, listening to what the muscle tension is saying to you.  Do you need rest, take a break to walk around, or ask for help over something you’re stuck on?  There are a variety of things that your body may benefit from when you pause and honor what that could be.  Your body will always love you for trying.

When you start forming compassion for all the parts of your body that allow you to move, breathe and function on a daily basis your body will respond back through symptom relief and renewed energy.  You can have complete faith and trust in your body.  Our bodies are beautiful and wise.  Attached are several articles that provide more insight into simple daily practices for tending to your body’s needs.

“And I said to my body softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.” ~Nayyirah Waheed

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