1.Connect with your Breath. It’s so easy to forget to breathe! Pay attention to your inhale, and pay attention to your exhale. The best way to ground into your body is by having awareness of your breath. Close your eyes, put your hand on your heart, and take a long slow deep breath. It is the fasted most effective way to calm your nervous system.
2. Pay attention to all your senses. Start by focusing on a body part. Be mindful to not just focus on a part of your body you don’t like as this will activate your critic (your mind). Start with your right fingertip or your left big toe. Can you bring awareness to any sensation in this area? How does it feel? Does it hurt? Is it cool or warm? Can you feel the breeze? Notice how it feels when you stroke it with a feather or brush up against some fabric? How do your shoulders feel? Are they tight or relaxed? Just notice where sensations are in your body without any judgments.
3. Name your sensation. Our minds do a great job of naming or labeling sensations with words but if you are new to this practice, it’s often a challenge to find specific words other than “good” or “bad” to describe sensation. Use more specific words such as, tight, sore, heavy, warm, numb, light, strong, stiff, tingly. You might even connect with your emotions and different body parts. Maybe you feel stress in your shoulders. Maybe you hold anger when your jaw is clenched. Maybe your heart is heavy with grief. Maybe your heart feels light, spacious and in love. Bring in curiosity with what emotions are moving through your body and where these emotions are as sensations in your body.
4. Move your body daily. If you are able-bodied and don’t have mobility challenges, make a commitment to yourself to move daily. A daily movement practice will help you get out of your head. Please know that the intention is not to just “burn calories” – but rather to practice dropping down from thinking mind into body awareness. Do activities that are fun or feel like play. Ride your bike to the market, dance to your favorite song, go for a hike in nature, yoga is free on you tube (I love yoga with Adrienne and yoga with Kassandra), or just go for a walk around your block. Maybe look into an accountability movement buddy. Someone you can walk and talk together with. Or maybe find an interesting podcast to listen to (Food Psych) is a great one for intuitive eating stories.
5. Ground yourself. Roll around on the floor/ground, outside on your lawn, in the park or on a foam roller. If you are having a hard time connecting with your body, try rolling around on the floor/ground. It gives your body something to be in relationship with, and helps anchor in a sense of “grounding.”
6. Get sensual. Invest in a good vibrator. If you are new to self-pleasuring activities, this is a game changer! If you have a partner, connect with them to discover what your body likes, and how much touch, hugs and intimacy you need. Connecting with ourselves is the first step to getting out of thinking mind and into our sensual body. Being able to tap into our sexual/sensual energy also helps us to tap into our creativity, our life force. If you are in a relationship, it’s a great opportunity to practice deepening this awareness.
7. Sit in Silence. Notice I am not calling this meditation! I don’t call this meditation because it’s too intimidating, but, it’s essentially mediation which is essentially sitting in silence with an awareness of your breath. Set a timer for 5 minutes. If that feels too long, start with two minutes. Just focus on your breath. Keep coming back to your breath over and over. That’s it. Your will notice an immediate shift to a slower heart rate and feeling more relaxed. A regular practice of slowing down will help your get out of your head and into your body.
8. Notice how decisions make your body feel. Next time you have to make a decision about something, notice how your body responds. A new job offer? Does your body feel open or constricted? Are you excited or anxious? A new partner on the horizon? Are you excited or anxious around them? Do you feel safe or shut down? Your body is your compass in so many areas. Pay attention to the signals it’s sending. Your body is almost always right as it’s a direct way to access your intuition. And, most of the time, your intuition is always right and knows exactly the right decision to make. This is how powerful intuitive eating is in helping you to achieve optimal health.
9. Wear comfortable clothes. Do a closet make-over. Get rid of any clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable. Wear clothes that feel good, are loose-fitting or fabric that flows. Clothes should not be a punishment or a reminder of body changes. Clothes need to be comfortable and flattering so that we feel good and can feel a sense of peace with ourselves. If you wear tight fitting clothes, you may notice your body less and your mind more (judgments), compared to wearing free-flowing pants or skirts or shirts with loose sleeves.
10. Massage. Having a good massage therapist can heal your relationship with your body. This works on many levels. Allowing yourself to receive pleasure if fundamental to healing your relationship to food and your body. You can also ask your partner (if you have one) to give you a massage. Allowing yourself to receive pleasure and noticing these sensations will help you to get out of your head and into your body.
What is your favorite tip to get out of your head and into your body?
And, if you have a tip to add to this list, please share below!
*Some of these suggestions might not be appropriate for some folks. If you have a history of trauma, sexual abuse or any other violation of the body, you may need to work with a trauma therapist to feel safe enough to do some of these practices. Please contact me directly for referrals.