Your body is the place you live, your home within the big wide world and the only one you’ve got. It’s also a powerful tool full of wisdom and intuition, especially when it comes to your health and well-being.
But do you feel truly connected to your body? Do you listen to your body when it’s trying to chat?
Do you trust your body?
If not, your body connection may be in need of a little reboot. Here are some tools to get you started.
Disclaimer: This information is not designed to take the place of individual medical or mental health advice. If you feel triggered by this content or need further support, contact a mental health professional or organization in your area.
What’s getting in the way of my connection?
Connection to your body can be undermined by many things. Sometimes it’s as simple as a stressful, busy week. But sometimes it can be a lot deeper than that. Start to scratch away at the surface here and see what’s going on. For most people, it’s a bit of an “onion situation” where there are lots of layers to peel back. Journaling can be a good tool to start the process.
If you come up against some heavy things or feel triggered reach out for support. Trauma can be a trigger for body disconnection so make sure you get support as needed.
What (or who) am I listening to instead?
If you aren’t listening to your body then chances are you are listening to something or someone else. Are you all up in your own head all the time? Listening to your thoughts and getting swept away by them? Or maybe you are outsourcing – listening to an external set of rules when it comes to food instead of your hunger; listening to the constant message to hustle and be ‘busy’ instead of listening to your body’s cues to rest. Knowing what (or who) has your attention can help in the subsequent steps.
How can I be more present in my body?
Mindfulness is a great tool for getting into the present moment. If your answer to the question above showed that you are mostly in your head, then mindfulness will probably be your go-to strategy to bring the connection back. And it doesn’t have to be all complicated or intense. I like Brené Brown’s pared back definition of mindfulness as simply “being aware.”
What activities could you bring mindfulness to in your day? Do you have space to add in meditation or check out these strategies for being more mindful.
Again, a small disclaimer here that mindfulness around trauma should be done with the help of a professional that is trained in this area.
Do I need to build trust in my body again?
If you’re feeling disconnected from your body, you may be hearing its messages loud and clear but simply not trusting them. It’s understandable really, we are bombarded with so much messaging around why our body can’t be trusted, especially around food and health choices. So, it may be that you need to build your trust.
A simple exercise is to make a big list of all the functions and activities that you innately trust your body to do. Start from your toes and make your way up your body – inside and out, body parts and senses – listing all the things your body does for you that you trust in without even thinking about.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Toes – balance your feet on the ground
- Heart – pump blood around your body and keep you alive
- Touch – tells you when things are hot or sharp
- Kidneys – filter your blood
When you feel your trust wavering you can use this list to rewrite any stories you may be telling yourself about your body and trust. Your body’s got your back. It’s time to trust in that again.
Do I need to make space for body connection?
Do you need to clear any physical, mental or emotional barriers to connection? Your answers to the first two questions might give you a head start. Some things may be easy to do yourself by simply working on your self talk, reducing the stress in your day or literally clearing your schedule to feel less busy. But other areas may need more support and strategies – either ones you can research yourself or with the support of a professional.
What activities make me feel connected to my body?
Is there anything you currently do, or have done in the past, that brings you in connection to your body? Any activities where you move out of your head and thoughts and focus purely on your body? Perhaps it’s jumping on the yoga mat or hitting the D-floor. Or maybe it’s dusting off some activities from childhood like a hula hoop?
It can also be less obvious activities where you connect to one part of your body like kneading bread or a self massage. There are no right or wrong answers – you’re simply looking for activities that bring your body into focus in a fun or functional way.
Make a big ol’ list of activities that bring you into connection with your body. How often are these activities part of your day or week? Where could you add them in?
Over to you
Body connection is the most natural thing in the world. But sometimes it can get undermined, tuned out or simply swept to the side in the busy rush of life.
Time to reboot that connection and all the benefits that come with it so you can truly live your best life.