Recently, I started telling myself to “trust the body”. It’s a new personal mantra of sorts that I have started mumbling under my breath, as I slowly make my way back to full health after an intense health experience. And whenever I subconsciously start using words, I take a moment to read up on what the words mean and decode why they occurred to me in that phase too…
As I read the origins of the word, I learnt that the English word ‘trust’ derives from the Old Norse ‘traust’, which means strong. Keeping in mind my recovery, the word now made me think of how much stronger I can be if I fully trust my body…
But — what does it mean to trust the body in our culture today?
In a world where we’re rewarded to sit more than move (every desk job ever!), trusting the body can be something as simple as studying the cues it gives us. For instance, the next time you’re hungry – take a moment to ask yourself why you’re hungry? Is it because the body needs food and nourishment, or perhaps is it because of some unclaimed emotions like stress or boredom?
Taking a mindful moment to reflect on the cues our body gives us can also help tap into the connectedness between our Body and Mind. There is so much information coming up in the wellness circles these days about the Brain-Gut connection; this is also an interesting space to explore and research more on because it shows us medically that the body and mind are indeed inter-related. And that, for both to be strong, we must nourish the connection between the parts (body and mind) too.
Learning to trust our body, then, becomes a gradual process of learning to decode the cues. Of knowing when to pause and when to move. Of feeling and addressing the underlying emotions. Of not letting only our thoughts crowd our space. Of trusting the body too in guiding us — processing and releasing emotions that even our mind, sometimes, cannot.
Practices like maintaining a ‘food and mood’ diary, movement and reflection (asking “what I did” and “how did that make me feel?” after every workout) and mindful breathing can help cultivate a loving and trusting relation with our whole self. We all know that the new year is a fresh new start, so why not devote some of 2022 to trust your body too?
The connection between our body, breath, mind and movement is so subtle yet so transformative. Have you felt this inner power too? Share your experience in the Comments section 😀📝
P.S: These are written reflections in honour of Body-Mind Wellness Day 2022. Some books to read if you want to explore this topic further are Dr Uma Naidoo’s “The Food Mood Connection” and Dr Bessel van der Kolk’s “The Body Keeps the Score”.