10 Ways to Reconnect With Your Body
Our bodies are amazing instruments that are constantly communicating with us. We may be in our bodies all the time but it seems to be getting easier by the day to go long periods of time without actually truly connecting to them.
Think about it, we spend nearly half of our lives mentally tapped into phones, computers, televisions, gaming systems, home tech, etc. In fact, the average American adult spends more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. That means whether we realize it or not, we are creating a habit out of living in our minds as opposed to our bodies - and at a rapid rate at that.
I’m not trying to say that technology is evil and we should all run away to the wilderness to live in the buff and be one with the trees… though that does sound like a ton of fun. What I am saying is that we need to now make it just as crucial of a habit to reconnect to the physical world and to our physical bodies if we really want to feel a sense of inner connection on a more regular basis.
Here are 10 ways to do it:
1. breath work.
Ever heard of 4-7-8 breathing? The concept is you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds. Breathing is the simplest way to reconnect with your body because you’re always doing it. Taking conscious breaths like the 4-7-8 exercise not only calms down any stress or anxiety you may be feeling, but it puts you right back into your body. Plus since you are doing it all the time, it’s the easiest to remember and come back to anytime you need it.
2. get back to the basics.
Our bodies have basic needs — food, water, sleep and movement.
Ask yourself, how well have you been sleeping? How nutrient dense has your food been the last few days? How much water have you been drinking?
It’s simple, but often times taking care of the basics reconnects us to the simple pleasure of feeling more in tune with our bodies.
3. consume consciously.
Next time you’re eating, try to slow down and really taste each bite. Next time you take a sip of your coffee or a gulp of water, feel it make its way down your throat. It sounds weird in theory but when you slow down and consume more consciously you begin to notice flavour profiles or textures you may have missed previously. Plus it gives your body more time and space to communicate what foods feel great, when you're starting to feel satisfied and what tastes the absolute best.
4. close your eyes.
Close your eyes the next time you’re listening to music, eating food, stretching or outside in nature. We get so used to experiencing life through our eyes that it’s easy to overlook all of our other senses. When we close our eyes we automatically tune into the less used sources of information which automatically places us more into our bodies.
5. slow down and stay still
Look up, where are you right now? What do you see, hear, taste, feel, smell? What do you look like today, what do you feel inside of your body right now? What were you just thinking about before reading this?
Slowing down our life like this on a more regular basis allows us to reconnect not only to the world around us, embedding it more deeply into our memories, but also tap out of the thoughts running in our minds to notice the sensations going on in and around our bodies instead.
Unless we’re in a flow state, our thoughts are usually based in the past or on the future taking us away from our bodies. Making a quick “sit still senses scan” habit creates a gap for us to reconnect anytime we need.
6. get moving.
This one is a given, so here are some ideas:
- Dance around your house
- Take up a workout class
- Go for a walk if you never do
- Stretch to a song
- Get it on
- Learn how to snowboard
- Go kayaking
- Hike with your dog
- Anything that's not sitting, laying or standing stationary
7. get naked.
What better way to reconnect to your body than in its most natural state? It’s weird, but we as human beings are the only species that seems to be bashful or worse, shameful, of being in our birthday suits. We came into the world naked so why hide it away - especially from ourselves?
If you’re still not convinced, I get it. I don't know when or how it happened but somewhere along the way in my own life I had become somewhat afraid of my naked body.
So I started practicing… yeah you read that right. Practice.
Sleep naked, get ready naked, cook naked (be careful with this one), close your blinds and walk around your house naked (or don’t if you’re feeling ballsy, pun fully intended).
Here’s what will happen:
- You will inevitably get used to your nudeness and thus more comfortable with it
- You will see every side of yourself and come to realize that every body has bad angles -- but it's not nearly as many as you think (trust me, you look good)
- You will feel empowered by realizing your skin isn’t meant to look airbrushed or contoured in some unnatural way
- You will rediscover a new sense of love and admiration for your body (and just the human body in general)
- You will enjoy taking care of it more
- You will get an instant reminder anytime you pass a reflective surface just how smokin' hot you are.
8. go outside + reconnect.
When was the last time you saw the sun set? Or played with an animal? Or breathed in fresh air? Heard crickets in the night?
Nature is unpredictable, it doesn’t rush and it is always natural and sometimes that is exactly what our bodies need. Reconnecting to our roots quite literally reconnects us.
Plus, it’s been proven to be good for you to get your bare feet on solid earth!
What’s your self-care routine like?
Do you ever take bubble baths or massage lotion into your muscles? I’m not saying you need to give yourself an all-out spa experience every time you shower, but it wouldn’t hurt to really pamper your body once a week or so. Taking care of our bodies is an easy way to reconnect to it and appreciate it so do so in a way that makes you feel most confident!
10. remember how amazing your body is.
Every single minute, from the one you woke up to the one that you’re in right here, your body…
- Beats your heart
- Inhales and exhales
- Sheds skin cells
- Grows hair
- Keeps you hydrated
- Controls your body temperature
- Cleans your blood
- Prevents and fights cancer
- Converts energy
It is way too easy to overlook how incredible our bodies are. We wouldn’t be able to experience any of this - from our favourite songs to our favourite people without the veil that sits between.
Sometimes it just takes a few minutes of really being with your body to reconnect to the magnificence of your very own existence.
▹ Photo & Thumbnail shot by the ever-so-talented Amanda Kuo