Today, a lot of people feel a hefty amount of stress because of the way body image has dominated media. Some have even gotten to the point that they develop eating disorders because of how they feel. What a lot of people really need, is to focus on being kinder to themselves and their bodies. Most feel that they’re already being kind, but are they really? The next few paragraphs will give you a few tips on how to treat your body with kindness.
Get Lots of Rest
The first and easier way to treat yourself better would be to make sure that you get as much rest as you need each day. Proper sleep and rest are important for your body because your body needs those periods to conserve energy, and make some repairs to your cells. If you don’t get all of the rest you need, then your body will begin to fail in small ways, and you will begin to feel tired all of the time. As you become weaker, you will see a breakdown in the quality of your work, and relationships around you will begin to suffer.
Much of this is due to the fact that it’s hard for a person to feel completely connected to others when their mind hasn’t been allowed to rest properly. Studies have connected lack of sleep to a rise in apathy in some people. As the apathy increases, the subject will begin to connect less and less to those around them until they are completely isolated. So it’s extremely important to take proper sleep into consideration.
Let Yourself Have Fun
Do you ever feel guilty when you take days off or try to do fun things with friends and family? A lot of people are in fields of work that force them to produce more and more work for their company. This culture of overworking yourself isn’t healthy and can lead to extreme forms of burnout. The apathy that comes from being sleep deprived can also play a heavy role in diminishing your ability to enjoy things, so this is a place where resting and allowing yourself to have fun meet. When you are properly rested, you’ll be in a better state to have fun, and if you allow yourself that time, then you can get rid of a lot of the extra stress that you’ve been holding onto each day.
Make Sure You’re Hydrated
How much water do your drink in a day? Hydration is something that a lot of people overlook because living in a modern world tells you that everything you need is just a phone call or a store trip away, but people have to make the right choices when it comes to health. A lot of people have fallen into the habit where they’ve replaced water with different types of soft drinks or energy drinks. These of drinks are made of mostly sugars and chemicals that were created in a lab, and they don’t provide enough pure water to help you sustain many of your basic functions, so it can be very easy to suddenly find that you are dehydrated to a level that can make you feel ill.
By the time you feel thirsty your body is already dehydrated; our thirst mechanism lags behind our actual level of hydration. Research shows that as little as 1 percent dehydration negatively affects your mood, attention, memory and motor coordination. You can learn more about this here
Get Away from Technology for a Minute
Technology these days has been very good at absorbing nearly all of the free time that people have. Everyone is constantly being bombarded by adverts for games and new apps that boast a user-friendly environment and a new lease of life, but is this really true? Studies have shown that constant engagement with apps can actually cause a lot of stress in some people.
Social media has made it difficult for a larger number of people to feel content with their daily existence. This doesn’t mean that social media is a bad thing, but it could mean that a lot of people should use social media a lot less. To help yourself feel better, it would be a good idea to a take step away from social media so that you can focus on more pursuits that involve your well-being.
Add in to this the effects of EMR on the body. Even though science is not in agreement about the effects of EMR on the human body there has been loads of reports of negative health effects and illnesses. Some people seem to be more sensitive to these waves than others. In my experience a buildup happens that rattles the brain and creates an edginess in ones mood. To alleviate this, turn off all electrical devices for some periods of the day (and definitely don’t sleep with any in your room!) and make sure you kick your shoes off and walk barefoot on the grass daily to discharge as much as you can. It’s hard to avoid in a city environment so regular trips to the country are really beneficial.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Self-awareness isn’t always something that comes naturally to people. Sometimes it can take a well-crafted effort for you to learn what is needed and when. This is partially because the world at large expects people to live for their desires more than their needs. Once you have made the choice to get better acquainted with yourself, you can begin to practice mindfulness so you can learn about the signals that your body puts out to let you know what you really want.
When you’re eating a particularly delicious meal, you might already know that you’re full, but you keep eating anyway. Suddenly you feel so full that you begin to burp, and your stomach makes loud noises. This could be a sign that your body has chosen to let you know that you’ve eaten too much. Learning these signals can help you to stay more comfortable and treat your body with greater care in the future.
Practice diaphragmatic Breathing
The body will not enter the rest and digest phase (relaxation) if we are shallow breathing in to the chest only. It simply can’t because shallow breaths indicate to the body intelligence that we are alert and it should stay ready to run or hide from danger. To counter this we should practice several minutes of deep belly breathing throughout the day.
To do this, simply place your hands over your lower belly and inhale through the nose slowly and deeply. Your hands should move away from the belly as the lungs fill and fall back towards the spine as the breath leaves the body. This is really an act of Mindfulness that really helps calm the body and mind. Practice it as often as you can during the day.
Soak in a Hot Bath
This is such a simple yet effective way of decreasing the tension stored in the body and increase the feelings of self-love. It releases feel good chemicals throughout the body, especially if you do some of the deep breaths mentioned above. Add some unscented Epsom salts in and have a long soak (I use up to 2 cups per bath!). The salts will draw out toxins and your body will absorb the benefits of the magnesium. Add some essential oils too to really refresh your body and mind.
Hope that helps you step towards body kindness.
Love & Peace,