There’s More to Looking After Our Bodies Than Diet & Exercise

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Let’s start by saying that a good diet and exercise are super ways to nurture our bodies! However, there is no shortage of advice on eating well and working out. Instead, we will look at other, less obvious ways to ground ourselves in body and find enriching physical experiences.

Becoming more connected and in tune with our physical bodies is an effective way of being more mindful. In bringing awareness to our physical experience, we naturally come to the present moment, using our senses as anchors. It can also help us adopt a more self-nurturing and self-compassionate approach toward ourselves.

Mindful Movement

Mindful movement practices sometimes double up as exercise. For example, yoga is great for strengthening muscles as well as practicing mindfulness. Yet, there are other ways we can practice mindful movement; ways which focus less on fitness or weight loss, and more on enjoying simple bodily movements.

Those of us who spend all day at a computer may particularly benefit from connecting with our bodies more. How often do we reach the end of the working day and discover tightness in the shoulders or an achy back? We can be so focussed on our work or studies that we disconnect from the body. Yet if we make a habit of regularly checking in with the body, we can give it more movement and flexibility.

So right now, tune in for a moment. How does your body feel? Sense into your feet, legs, back, shoulders, even down through your hands to your fingers. Are there any parts of the body that want to stretch or wiggle? If you feel comfortable with it, why not stand up for a moment and get curious about how your body wants to move.

Maybe you feel like bending forward to touch the ground, rolling your shoulders, circling your hips, or raising your arms above your head for stretch. You can’t get this wrong; it’s all about noticing your current experience, and meeting it with openness. Notice how any stretching or movements affect your mood or energy levels. Have some fun with it!

 

Find out more about our mindfulness courses and workshops. 

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Comfort and Cosiness

There’s nothing like putting on your favourite pyjama’s and curling up in a freshly made bed to read a good book. Or perhaps your favourite comfort is to wear some fluffy socks as you watch TV with your cat. Whatever makes you feel cosy, try to do these things regularly, as a way of treating your body with kindness and care.

Sensory Pleasures

This could mean so many different things; from finding a shower gel in your favourite scent, to being touched by your partner in a certain way (or touching yourself). Getting to know what feels, smells, looks or sounds good to us, and consciously gifting them to ourselves, is important for our well-being. It helps us engage with the physical world around us.

We can use these pleasurable sensations as a type of meditation. For example, we can listen to our favourite songs and notice all the musical elements. We might place things around our home that we enjoy admiring in detail. Bringing more awareness to our sensory experiences may help us start to enjoy things we normally do in auto-pilot, such as brushing our teeth or applying moisturiser.

Our bodies don’t need to be perfect in order for us to enjoy the physical world around us. Having fitness or healthy eating goals can be very rewarding, however taking the time to look after our bodies in other ways is important too. When we step out of thinking of our bodies as a ‘project’ that needs work, we can start to enjoy the fact that we have a body that can move, feel and experience the world.

 

Find out more about our mindfulness courses and workshops.

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