The reason I decided to do a group “Learn to Love Your Body” is because I went thru years of not loving mine. My partner used to tell me my body was beautiful and as good as or better then any of the film stars he saw on television, but did I believe him, not a chance. Did I really see defects as I compared myself or was it just that I felt overall defective. I have done many hours of self growth and development since that time and I’m an old woman now but guess what? I love my body now with all its defects, parts missing, wrinkles and scars that happen with life experience and into old age. I treat my body better now then I have ever treated it in the past. Believe it or not treating your body well, makes you love your body more.
To draw your body in art therapy is to externalize it and look at it rationally. That will be our first step in “Learn to Love Your Body”. We will also do foot prints and hand prints and add items to make points that we need to make. We will look at parts of our bodies we do like or love already and then we will look at parts we don’t love or like and maybe even hate. I often think of the water experiment that was done to explore what happens to water when negative things are said to it. The structure apparently changes and there is a significant difference between water spoken to positively and water spoken to negatively. A large part of us is water and imagine what the possibilities might be if we were gentle and compassionate with our bodies instead of negative. Perhaps some of our disease states are at least partly related to our criticism of our complex amazing bodies.
A good start in the right direction to loving your body is to explore self care for your better physical, mental and psychological state. Do you eat regularly and eat the foods that are needed? Do you follow the Canada Food Guide and eat proteins, vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the quantities recommended? The body needs three meals a day and 2 or 3 daily snacks of good quality food. Do you exercise at least 3 times a week for ½ hour or more. Exercise gets everything moving and raises neurotransmitters in the brain. It is needed for the cardiovascular system, the bowel, the brain and many other organs. Sleep is another important aspect of self care as your body needs to regenerate physically, mentally and psychologically. Sleep does all those things for you. Some things to do to encourage good sleeping habits is to go to bed and get up about the same time daily, have a quiet, dark bedroom with comfortable temperature control, use your bedroom for sleep and sexual activity so you associate it for those things and not with TV watching, paying bills etc. Some relaxation activity before sleep can be helpful and exercise in the morning can facilitate sleep that night. Things that aren’t helpful are any stimulating activity just before sleep except sexual activity which helps you relax and sleep. Caffeine and alcohol can effect sleep negatively so use them sparingly and not close to bedtime.
An excellent support system of friends and family is a helpful way to appreciate yourself more as they reflect their appreciation of you to you. Keep the Negative Nellies away. And are you a good support for you? This is probably the most important support you can have. Check your thoughts and what they say to you. For every negative thought balance it with two positives and this is a good start in the right direction. There are many other thought processes we will review during our time together to make you your best support person.
Its not too late to join our group called “Learn to Love Your Body” with start date to be announced at 6:30-8:00PM at 9562 82 Ave Downstairs please call Irene at 780-232-1055 if you are interested.
Irene Haire, MC, RCAT, Registered Provisional Psychologist/Registered Art Therapist is in private practice in Edmonton at The GB Building Downstairs-9562- 82 Avenue, 780-232-1055 www.cloverdalecounselling.com firstname.lastname@example.org