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How to Learn to Love Your Body, Part 3: Body Appreciation

Brunette woman in a purple cardigan sitting on a white couch, laughing while she writes in a journal

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In our quest toward a friendship with our bodies, I have talked about body awareness and body neutrality. The next step in the process is body appreciation.

I know, I know. This may feel way off in the distance for you. We have a tendency to speak to ourselves and our bodies in ways we wouldn’t speak to anyone else. We often have patterns of negative feelings that go way back into our own personal histories. These patterns can be really hard to break. Today we are going to explore appreciation for our physical surroundings, and then play with this as it relates to our bodies.

Appreciation for The Things That Support Us

There are a lot of things in my life that I don’t notice on a daily basis. My car. My house. Indoor plumbing. The refrigerator. So many things that I just take for granted. Since I interact with them so often, I rarely stop to consider that they are good. I don’t often appreciate what they do for me or the comfort they bring me.

I took the time today to notice what I appreciate throughout my day. I am very thankful for air conditioning in my car. I am very thankful that I have food that brings me happiness. I am thankful that I have a couch where I can rest, a bed where I can sleep, and a home where I am safe.

Brunette woman in a purple cardigan, standing next to a window with a mug of tea

It isn’t just the things that I have. It is also the things that work to bring me comfort. In my exploration of appreciation, I realized how many things in my surroundings do their jobs—kitchen appliances, my shower head, my garage door—that make my life run so much more smoothly, more efficiently, and with more ease.

With that being said, there are also plenty of things in my physical space that aren’t perfect. I can still appreciate them. The springs are coming out of the bottom of one of our chairs (true story), but it is still comfortable enough and it provides a place for us to sit. My pillows aren’t as comfortable as hotel bed pillows. My towels aren’t as fluffy as they used to be. I have to use a drain snake in my shower much more often than I’d like. But at the end of the day, they are still good and they provide me comfort and support.

Our Bodies Support Us As Well

Hear me out, friends.

In the same way that we take things in our lives for granted, we can take our bodies for granted as well. I think it is possible to find body appreciation, even in places of imperfection. We don’t have to think that our bodies are perfect or beautiful to believe them worthy of gratitude. We can notice how our bodies serve us and show up. Even when we think we fall short, our bodies still breathe for us. Even in times of stress or illness, there is something there to appreciate. When we take the time to notice and thank our bodies, we can become more tuned in to the wisdom they share.

Brunette woman in a purple cardigan on a white couch, smiling at the camera.

Body Appreciation Guided Meditation

So find a comfortable spot to lie down, and bring in any support you need to be comfortable. I like to bring a pillow under my head and another pillow or rolled up blanket under my knees. You can also listen and practice this meditation in the bath (with your electronic device at a safe distance, of course). Be open to body appreciation—the good, the bad, the neutral aspects of your body—and press play.

Your Next Steps Toward Body Love

Getting to the point of living in body appreciation can take a while to achieve, but if you feel like you’ve hit the mark, go ahead and jump over to the fourth part of our series—Body Love.

Krissie is a clinical counselor turned life coach out of Lexington, Kentucky. She helps rebuild the brain-body connection with breath, meditation, and a healthy dose of Curvy Yoga. Her favorite places are her yoga mat, dance night at the Irish pub, and on the couch with her husband and two chunky cats. You can find her at www.krissiebentley.com and on Instagram as @krissiebentley.

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