How to Love and Thank Your Body
In our pursuit of physical fitness, endurance and strength, it can be easy to focus more on what still needs to happen as we reach for our goals than it is to relish how far we’ve come – and to thank our bodies for getting us there. In addition, it’s a common human experience at some point in our lives to encounter feeling dissatisfied with our bodies.
The reality is there will always be another aspect of fitness to strive for or a perceived reason to feel insecure, but in order to live a life we love it takes equal parts determination and appreciation. In those seasons where we just don’t feel the best about our bodies, we especially need to take time to pause and express gratitude for who we are.
There’s plenty of room to hold space for both growth and gratitude. Here are a few tips to get started:
Sometimes we work out as a way to escape the world briefly, but whether that’s the case or not, we need to ensure we are regularly paying attention and listening to our bodies along with using movement to connect to ourselves more deeply. Maybe your favorite form of cardio makes this more difficult, so consider weaving in an additional yoga class or exercising mindfulness while out for a long walk. Pay attention to your breaths, the sensation of the elements on your skin, how your body feels as it moves. By reconnecting with our bodies through movement, we can boost our appreciation of all the intricate systems keeping our body in motion.
This isn’t to be confused with forcing happy thoughts no matter the circumstances; rather positivity is a choice to expand rather than contract – even in the face of difficult circumstances. Maybe you’re in a time where you feel dissatisfied with an aspect of your appearance – instead of honing in on what you wish was different, find a countering thought: what’s something you enjoy about your body? How can you tangibly express gratitude and love to yourself today the way you might to a friend or a partner? By choosing gratitude, we are practicing positivity and making it easier to extend ourselves grace.
Social Media Cleanse
While social media can be a great way to stay motivated and to share the latest steps you’ve taken in your fitness journey, comparing ourselves constantly to the highlight reels of the world can start to take a toll if we aren’t conscious about what we’re feeding our minds. A good place to exercise the action of loving yourself is by taking an inventory of the accounts you follow and whether those posts are serving you positively right now. What may have been inspiring and uplifting at one point, might be pulling you down now. So take an honest look at the content that the accounts you follow are feeding you, and filter out any that make it difficult for you to extend love and gratitude for your body.