Healthy body healthy mind
I had a great surprise recently when I noticed how my attitude, thoughts and feelings towards myself had changed, simply because of my focus on self-care and love towards my body.
- Have you ever felt there is a common thread amongst human beings – that the mind can be a cruel, unkind companion?
- Has your own attitude ever been that of a cruel, unkind companion?
There are many therapies about self-talk, positive states of mind, how to get one and create a positive mindset, yet is it as simple as love your body and a healthy mind will follow?
Anxiety and depression thrive in our critical mind.
In my experience the only way to make the shift away from a critical attitude is to build care for yourself and start to love the body.
I realised this about three years ago. I had been making a focus to self-care and about a month into this programme I got off the tube a stop too early and when I realised what I had done, I simply decided to walk. To my surprise my attitude was different: there was no running commentary such as, "How could I have been so stupid?", "You did it again", "You’re such a moron", which would have been the very usually running thoughts at a simple mistake.
I was amazed that my thoughts and feelings were very different and could only put it down to the fact that I had been taking more care of my body.
Since then, I have continued to deepen this care, love and honouring of my body ... and my thoughts and attitude are invariably kinder – I now have a less critical mind and more loving thoughts.
It’s a chicken and egg situation without the confusion – if you love and care for your body, your self esteem builds and the mind will be kinder and more loving.
How to love your body ...
- Stay warm ... make sure you have a cardigan, jacket, scarf and gloves with you and even in summer make sure you have a shawl in case it turns colder.
- Feeling your body when you wake, so no jumping or staggering out of bed without a second thought for how your body is. Just take a moment when you are in bed to stop and feel how your body feels, then move.
- Drink nourishing teas – without caffeine in them.
- Avoid stimulating foods, i.e. sugar, salts, junk foods.
- Become aware of how you feel after eating different foods so you can make a note of those that change how you feel mentally and physically.
- Take regular gentle exercise, eg, gentle walking.
- Wash your face with a hot face cloth – a particular favourite of mine.
- Put your towel and underwear on the radiator to heat up while you are bathing – the body just loves warm, hot clothes.
- Breathe gently, focus on the rhythm of your breath.
- Keep your mind on the activity your body is doing.
It makes sense that we as bodies would respond to love and self-care by building greater self-esteem. This surprise I had makes me wonder if anxiety and depression, which love a critical mind, could also be helped with the simple self-care and exercise routines above.
Could it be as simple as to begin to love your body and care for ourselves first?