Feeling Comfortable In Your Own Skin
Do you feel uncomfortable in your body but don't know why?
When someone asks how you feel, you might hesitate or feel numb. Feelings are a challenge when you aren't connected to your body.
Traumatic events in childhood can create a negative sense of self including an inability to trust yourself. Living in self-doubt is no way to live.
You have a right to feel comfortable in your body no matter what. Identifying old messages in childhood that don't belong to you is the first step. Messages like you're not good enough or being compared to a sibling takes a toll. Transforming those messages is the first step in coming back into yourself.
1. Address Self-talk
Self talk is that little conversation going on in the back of your mind everyday. How we talk to ourselves comes from our primary caregivers. As a child what you hear gets internalized and you learn to believe those messages as truth. These messages can be positive or negative. Pay attention to what you tell yourself.
When your self talk is negative it sounds like this:
- Why bother, it's not going to work anyway.
- I'm fine, I don't need anyone's help.
- I should be better, prettier, more capable (whatever applies).
- I'm not good 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.
2. Learn to Recognize Emotions
Letting yourself have all of your feelings is an important part of being you. If you weren't taught how to deal with them, you might stuff them with food or other substances. Eventually, these feelings leak out and cause problems.
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 and that's how you honor yourself.
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
3. Develop Your Intuition
Next, start 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? Were you taught to ignore it?
Have you ever had a nagging thought to act but ignored it? We all have. Next time you get that feeling, listen to it. Notice if there's a different result. Was the outcome ultimately better for you?
By practicing this, you learn to recognize what intuition feels 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. Sit quietly and do some journal writing. You'll start to recognize how it feels and trust the outcome is usually better. There is nothing like the freedom you feel when you're comfortable with yourself. It can change your life in ways you cannot imagine.
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