As humans we are resilient creatures. This makes us great survivors, and it can also create a blind spot in our approach to our wellbeing. We can go to extremes without realizing. For instance, we enjoy the taste and feeling of a soda, we end up drinking it every day. We can work till we get too sick or have all work with no play, or all play with no work. We can get obsessed with an exercise or let go of any healthy movement because we can survive anyway.
Our bodies, our minds, and our hearts are very tolerant of us. How lucky for us we can push boundaries so much. How unlucky for us that we end up pushing those boundaries so much!
We indulge and deprive ourselves at the same time. What if we created the space to notice everything we did? As a body psychotherapist, even though I teach mindfulness on a daily basis, I notice my own blind spots way more than I would like to admit.
I am comfortable around people when they are emotional. It is easy for me to be mindful of myself and others in moments of emotional crisis and create support for myself and others. I had no idea that I did not have an ounce of mindfulness around my eating habits. I’m relearning chewing, noticing my hunger and fullness, tasting my food. I’m relearning to listen to my body instead of distracting myself with life and my environment.
When I exercise, I’m relearning to find my breath and to enjoy my strength even at the edge of my weakness.
Personally, wherever I notice I want to complain about not having good self-care, I have come to realize it’s my opportunity to slow down and find my edges and take care of myself in those edges.
What do you like to complain about? Not enough time? not enough sleep? weight? strength? hobbies? anxiety? It’s all information for you to recognize you’ve pushed yourself to a survival place rather than thriving in life. If you want to come back to thriving, notice the changes you want within to create them.
It is such a great opportunity to recognize limiting beliefs and create the changes you want. I keep noticing my relationship to deprivation around food. When I catch myself in an old habit, I get to remind myself of abundance. This way I get to keep bringing in an appreciation for the abundance in my life consciously as opposed to a fear based reactive deprivation feeling that can lead to over eating or not being able to tolerate hunger.
As you notice where you want your health and fitness to be and how you keep finding yourself limited in it, you can find resources from your environment, reaching out to friends, family, experts, etc. and create the life you want mentally,emotionally and in your amazingly resilient body. Allow your own embodied system (body, mind, heart) to teach you how you can thrive best by slowing down and noticing yourself. The more you notice the more power you have.
Defne Dinler is a licensed somatic counseling psychotherapist who uses action-oriented therapeutic modalities that lead to a deeper understanding and achievement of goals for teens and adults. She specializes in relationship challenges, depression, anxiety, and trauma. As a body psychotherapist, her belief is that to heal the mind one needs to connect to their body first.