Tune Into Your Body

April 6, 2020

“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

 

The easiest way to connect your body and mind is to use a combination of your breath and your sense of touch. Begin by putting your hand over your heart. Notice how your heart beats under your palm, and how your chest rises and falls with each breath you take. Now close your eyes and draw a deep breath into your belly. Hold it a moment, then exhale slowly.

 

As you continue to breathe deeply and rhythmically, bring your focus to the sound of your inhale and the sound of your exhale. Breathe in and breathe out as you continue to relax.

Now, tune into your body and what it’s telling you.

Is it tense? Relaxed? Tired? Hungry? Thirsty? Jittery? Notice if there’s a part that’s holding tension. Is that part tight or stiff? Does any part of you feel achy or anxious? Take a moment and really listen. You may be surprised at what you learn about what’s really going on inside you.

 

2. Connect body and mind.

 

The easiest way to connect your body and mind is to use a combination of your breath and your sense of touch. Begin by putting your hand over your heart. Notice how your heart beats under your palm, and how your chest rises and falls with each breath you take. Now close your eyes and draw a deep breath into your belly. Hold it a moment, then exhale slowly.

As you continue to breathe deeply and rhythmically, bring your focus to the sound of your inhale and the sound of your exhale. Breathe in and breathe out as you continue to relax.

Now, tune into your body and what it’s telling you.

Is it tense? Relaxed? Tired? Hungry? Thirsty? Jittery? Notice if there’s a part that’s holding tension. Is that part tight or stiff? Does any part of you feel achy or anxious? Take a moment and really listen. You may be surprised at what you learn about what’s really going on inside you.

 

3. Ask what your body needs in the moment.

 

Now ask your body what it needs to feel better right away. When it answers, be ready to honor that need.

If your body is feeling anxious, try this breathing technique. Pull your shoulders all the way up to your ears, then exhale with a whoosh and repeat until you feel calmer.

If you’re hungry, grab a quick, healthy snack.

If you’re thirsty, drink some water.

If you’re restless, take a break and go for a short walk.

If you’re achy or stiff, stretch or try a few yoga poses.

If you’re tired, take a nap if you can. If not, try taking a two-minute vacation. Close your eyes and imagine yourself relaxing in a beautiful, peaceful place. Let your worries and exhaustion go for those two minutes while you soak up the feeling of calm relaxation.

 

4. Ask what your body needs to stay healthy in the future.

 

Next take some time and ask your body what it needs on a long-term basis to heal and thrive in the future.

Do you need to go back to the gym?

Do you need to stop eating at night?

Do you need to replace your mattress to get a better night’s sleep?

Do you need to ask for help at work, or at home?

Do you need to schedule a massage?

Do you need to forgive yourself or someone else?

Do you need to start speaking up for yourself?

Pick the one thing you know your body needs right now to help it heal. Decide on one small step you could take right now to make long-term healthy changes. Commit to taking that step. Then commit to taking another small step tomorrow, and the day after that, until it becomes a healthy habit.

 

5. Stop living “by the numbers.”

 

Resolve to stop letting numbers run your life. Instead, commit to allowing your body to be your guide to good health and peace of mind. No more fear of failing, because you can’t get this wrong. Your body always knows what it needs.

Remind yourself how important you are, not only to yourself but also to the people around you. What you think and feel matters. Your body matters. And when you honor that body by treating it with love and respect, it will respond in kind.

 

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

 

 

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