Feeling Comfortable In Your Own Skin
Do you ever feel uncomfortable in your body but don't know why? Being present is an important skill. Without it, you're disconnected. When someone asks how you feel, do you hesitate or feel numb?
Feelings are a challenge when you aren't connected to your body.
Traumatic events in childhood can create a poor body image, low self-esteem, and an inability to trust yourself. Here are things that can help!
Address your self talk
Self talk is that little conversation going on in the back of your mind everyday. It can be positive or negative. Pay attention to what you tell yourself. Here are some examples of negative self-talk.
- Why bother, it's not going to work anyway
- I'm fine. I don't need anyone's help
- I should be better, faster, quicker (whatever applies)
- I'm not pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, etc.
- Nobody wants to hear what I have to say
- My feelings or thoughts aren't interesting so just be quiet
- I don't like my body so I'd rather ignore it
Learn to recognize emotions
Letting yourself have the full range of emotions can be challenging. Maybe you didn't get taught how to have healthy emotions. Trying to ignore or stuff them with food or substances doesn't help. Eventually, these feelings leak out.
Finding constructive ways to express emotions is an important skill in relationship. When you express how you really feel, you stand up for yourself. It's not about making someone else wrong, it's about telling your truth.
If you don't know how you feel, relationships are tough. You may feel invisible. Here is a quick guide for recognizing feelings in the body:
- Fear is begins in the stomach
- Sadness shows up in the chest, throat and eyes for tears
- Anger begins in the back, neck and jaw creating tension
- Joy radiates from the chest
Develop your intuition
The next step is listening to your thoughts. Some call it intuition, that small still voice telling you something is wrong. Do you listen to that voice or dismiss it or were you taught to ignore it?
Have you ever had a nagging thought to act but ignored it? Next time you get that feeling, listen to it. Notice if there a different result. Was the outcome ultimately better for you?
By practicing this, you learn to recognize what your intuition looks like and begin to trust it. This leads to making better decisions. Clients have told me they knew when something wasn't right but didn't have enough trust in themselves to follow it. Fortunately, there is always another chance to practice it. Practice makes that skill stronger!
When you are confused, try bouncing it off a trusted friend or seek counseling. You'll start to recognize how it feels and trust the outcome is usually better. There is nothing like the freedom of feeling comfortable with yourself. It can change your life in ways you cannot imagine.