If you’ve so much as picked up a self-help book, read any literature on Positive Psychology or receive regular e-mail newsletters from a wellness-based website, you likely already know about the concept of gratitude and its significant impact on our mental health. Most of the time when you ask someone what they are grateful for, they are able to respond and may have common responses including being grateful for their family, friends, home and pets. While these are all wonderful things to be grateful for, I must note that I have yet to hear someone tell me that they are grateful for their body.
It really makes me wonder why that is. Often, we neglect our body’s needs, put our bodies through unnecessary strain and abuse, push it past its limits, and yet we are still alive. Despite all the negative things we put our bodies through, it continues to fight for us and it continues to keep us alive.
Have you ever decided to pull an all-nighter and neglect your body’s crucial need for sleep? Have you ever skipped meals hoping to fit into a dress? Have you ever exercised to the point of feeling like you’re going to pass out or throw up? Have you ever drank to the point of blacking out? Have you ever purposely hurt your body? Have you ever overeaten past the point of extreme discomfort? These are but a few examples of how we mistreat our bodies every day. If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, I have one question left for you; are you still alive? I’m assuming the answer is yes since you are reading this. You are alive because your body still fights for you. Despite all of the poor treatment it gets, it’s fighting for you.
Have you ever said that you hate your body? Have you ever stood in front of a mirror and just picked apart every last problem or imperfection you can possibly identify? Take a second and imagine this scenario; you have a friend who would do anything for you and does anything to make sure that you are taken care of. In response, you tell that friend that you hate him/her and proceed to tell them everything you feel is wrong with them. Is that something you think you would ever say or do to a person like that? If your answer is no, tell me why it’s ok to do and say those mean things to your body?
Your body is your shelter. When you get cut, it heals itself. When you are tired, it tells you it needs sleep and you feel better and rested the next day to take on the world. When you have to pull an all-nighter to complete a paper, it helps you stay up. Your body is amazing, it allows you to taste great food, see amazing views, and hear music as well as dance, sing and run. I ask that you recognize these things that your body allows you to do. We often take these things for granted and thereby take our body for granted. Take a few minutes and write down all the things you can possibly think of that your body allows you to do and how it adds to your life or how it makes your life easier. When you’re done with that, thank your body.
Say something like this;
“Body, thank you for protecting my life. Thank you for helping me even though I am not always nice to you and don’t always help you to do what you continue to do for me. Thank you for enabling me to play music, go for nice walks, see a sunset, text my friends and so much more. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for always being here for me.”
Try to make showing gratitude to your body a regular practice. Try not to neglect all it does for you. Show gratitude by thanking it, taking care of it, listening to it and not abusing it. After all, it is the only vessel of life you’ll ever get.
Please share why you’re grateful for your body today. If you have any questions, concerns or requests for future posts, please leave a comment or message me privately.
I wish you the gift of gratitude on your journey to finding your State of Balance.
Binge And Restrict Cycle
Eating Disorder Specialist
Healthy Self Vs. Eating Disorder