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How to strengthen your relationship with your body

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We invest a lot of energy in our relationships with others in order for them to succeed. Whether it is a significant other, friends, or family, our relationships take up a lot of our time and attention. But sometimes it seems like we forget to nurture one other important relationship: the one we have with our own bodies. I would argue that this relationship deserves just as much care and consideration as our external relationships in order to function optimally.

Here are a few tips on ways you can strengthen the relationship you have with your body.

Have conversations with your body. Ask how it’s doing – and more importantly, listen to its reply. Stop numbing and pacifying your sensations and actually take a few moments to slow down and check in. How did that meal make you feel on the inside? What physical experiences did that movement just give you? Caring after someone requires authentic interest in their needs and feelings, and the same goes for our bodies.

Spend quality time with your body. Proactively participate in self care. Whether it’s acupuncture, massage, Pilates, meditation, or going to the gym, find a practice that makes your body feel good and cared for. There is no substitute for quality time spent in a relationship with others, and the same goes for our bodies.

Talk nice to your body. Be grateful for it. When it isn’t cooperating, react with compassion rather than frustration. In the same way our partners don’t respond well when we attack or criticize them, our bodies react poorly to negativity. Be grateful for what your body can do, and try to understand what it needs to accomplish new things.

Move your body. Our body is a machine, and in order for it to work it cannot sit dormant. Take time exploring the range of motion in your joints and muscles, and appreciate the way your body moves you through space and different activities. Relationships with people grow deeper and more significant the more we explore and experience with them, and the same goes for our bodies.

Mix up your routine. We are a sophisticated species, and we require varied challenges, stimuli, and movements to thrive. Participate in a wide range of activities, explore a mixture of different foods, and avoid repetitive physical positions. In the same way relationships with others fade when we do not keep things fresh and interesting, our bodies decay without varied stimulation.

Relationships require work. They take care, attention, and consideration to function properly. There is no substitute for quality communication and time spent with our loved ones, and the same goes for our bodies. Be honest with yourself and how you feel your relationship with your body is going. If you need help, don’t be afraid to turn to a wellness provider near you who has invested their career in helping others strengthen the relationship they have with their body.

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About the Author:

Rachel recently finished the teacher training program at Streamline. She is excited to continue to develop her passion for Pilates through teaching and personal study. She is mentored by Eva Kauffman, Lise Fischer, and all of the other talented instructors at Streamline. You will see her around the studio teaching classes and posting articles on the Streamline blog.

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