IGNORE YOUR BODY, SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES

The following excerpt is from the personal growth
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.

Do you routinely ignore your body and its signals, as you might ignore a carcass alongside the highway? Is your body dull and lifeless, like a carcass? If so, you may be like many psychotherapy clients who have the mistaken impression that just doing verbal psychotherapy will eventually make them happy. What they overlook is that much of their emotional unhappiness stems from a dysfunctional body which is itself struggling to overcome the effects of smoking, drinking, being a couch potato, an unhealthy diet, extra pounds, addictive food allergy, etc. Because our emotional happiness is so interconnected with bodily health, ease and comfort, few of us will experience emotional happiness and contentment if we neglect our bodies.

For most of us, reasonable fitness can be accomplished in 30 minutes a week.

Many of us are badly out of touch with our physical bodies. When we were young, we made the unconscious choice not to feel certain parts or all of our bodies. This was preferable to feeling the pain associated with traumatic events in our lives. What made it painful to have our bodies were all the parental and societal messages that squelched us. They caused us (1)to stuff our anger and hatred, (2)to conceal and deny our sexuality, (3)to eat our words, (4)to overeat to please Mommy, (5)to act like a big girl/boy by not crying, (6)to act invisible to avoid abuse, (7)to feel badly about being small and weak and (8)etc. It wasn't just the words and emotions that got stuffed. Because we are interconnected organisms, if we shut down our words and emotions, our bodies also shut down.* Numbness as a child was preferable to pain.

Be in the Moment Exercise. Try for two minutes to be as fully aware of your body as possible, (the feelings in your arm, your torso, the itch {scratch it if you like}, the sensations in your feet, etc. The purposes for such an exercise are (1)to regain body awareness and (2)to live with more awareness in the present moment. (We tend to be stuck worrying about the future or ruminating about the past.) One common feature of those who are happy is their ability to spend most of their time in the present moment.* Therefore, it behooves us all to develop that skill, feeling in the present moment, thinking about the present moment and being in the present moment as fully as possible.

In verbal talk therapy so much energy is typically invested in talking, thinking and emoting that the body is frequently overlooked. Yet healing methods that focus primarily on the body are sometimes easier and quicker than other means of healing. Commonly too, they promote positive unexpected emotional benefits. One particularly useful goal to have in life is to be completely comfortable with your body. This may, of course, require that you find some therapy.


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More Excerpts This Chapter
   IGNORE YOUR BODY, SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES
   BODYWORK THERAPY
   BE YOUR OWN BODYWORKER
   TOUCHING AND BEING TOUCHED
   AVOIDING TOXINS
   COUCH POTATO BENEFITS
   PSYCHOLOGICAL REASONS WHY WE DON'T EXERCISE
   FITNESS IN 30 MINUTES A WEEK?
   AN EXERCISE PROGRAM FOR THOSE WHO HATE TO EXERCISE
   AWAKENING AND REVITALIZING THE BODILY SENSES

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