I wanted to write about kindfulness here because I believe that the practice of kindfulness can powerfully transform the way you feel about your body. Our diet and lifestyle are important, but we can’t underestimate the power of our thoughts and the messages that we send our body.
What is kindfulness?
Kindfulness is the powerful combination of mindfulness + kindness.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and bringing awareness to the feelings and sensations in our body while at the same time being aware of our surroundings. Mindfulness is a wonderful way to keep your focus in the present.
Then, we can go even further by adding kindness to our experience. To add kindness you simply need to cultivate an attitude of caring and compassion in the present moment that you are experiencing. This caring and compassion will naturally extend to yourself and others.
How to apply kindfulness to your body
For example, if you have a negative thought about your body or the way you look, you can take this opportunity to apply kindfulness.
- Be aware that you are having a negative thought, you are not the thought but your mind is throwing a negative thought at you.
- Adopt a kind and loving attitude toward your body instead. Speak to your body (out loud or silently to yourself) in a kind and caring manner, as if you were speaking to a small child or a close friend that was in need of love, attention and reassurance.
- Tell your body what you think it needs to hear, words that will help it to feel better.
- Keep speaking kind words until you feel your body begin to relax.
You can also apply kindfulness when you feel tired or unwell.
- Notice how your body feels and notice what feels uncomfortable. Don’t judge the feeling, just notice it.
- Apply kindfulness. Adopt a kind and loving attitude and speak kind words to your body or specifically to the part of your body that feels unwell. Offer your body love, compassion and understanding.
- Tell your body words that you think will help it to heal.
- Keep doing this until you feel your body relax and let go.
Studies have proven the benefits of loving kindness meditations and how practicing kindfulness (mindfulness + kindness) toward yourself and others can benefit your health. To learn more about the science behind it this article is a great place to start — 18 Science-Based Reasons to Try Loving Kindness Meditations.
Be kind to yourself always and I hope that you enjoy practicing kindfulness!