From an early age we are exposed to a so many ideals, pictures and images about what constitutes the ‘perfect body’, or the ‘perfect shape’. By the time we are adults we have absorbed so many of these, that we come to hold as true an ideal body weight and shape! It is from this ideal we then monitor and judge our own body, and begin to compare ourselves with others, versus loving our unique body and who we are.
It’s easy to disconnect from who we truly are and judge ourselves against this ‘perfect body’ ideal, versus accepting the reality of our body and loving ourselves. We base our sense of self-worth on whether we meet this image. Women may disapprove of the shape of their face, or legs, or even their hair colour, and men may condemn their chest, as it is not solid or the muscles of their abdomen are not as defined as the ideal image. Cosmetic surgery and weight-loss diets abound, as we try to meet the demands of the self-imposed ideals that are sold to us. The cost of this is a deep disconnection from and a negation of all that we truly are.
An inability to love ourselves, be embodied and claim our life with confidence, passion and certainty robs us of self-love. This in turn introduces a disharmony into our body, that brings about misery and a disassociation into our lives. As we align with these external pictures, we continue to fight against ourselves and the body that is our birthright. Instead, we pursue illusionary images of this ‘perfect body’, the ‘perfect shape’, versus embracing the real beauty that is our very own intimate, delicate and delicious body – ourselves. Thankfully, this body is real, present and always waiting for our return to it.
Loving ourselves is natural, even though that may not be our experience in life, and is at the very heart of our being. It is something so innate, that we can easily choose to connect to and live a more loving life.
Are you are living your body from the outside in rather than the inside out? It’s a powerful questions and one that is worth considering. If you are using external sources as reference points for living in your physical body, then what is occuring to your inner life, soul and consciousness? Becoming embodied, self-accepting and self-caring for ourselves and dismantling any self-debilitating practices and alignments that come from the past, is a liberating and freeing experience.
A few simple tips to begin to develop more love for ourselves begins with self-care and self-love: being gentle with ourselves, and choosing healthy lifestyle choices such as the right nutrition, gentle exercise, regulating our stress and listening to our body.
- Love produces chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, primarily responsible for regulating behavior and mood, supporting feelings of reward and motivation, that make us feel more positive.
- Love produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter in your brain that regulates our mood. It’s often called your body’s natural “feel good” chemical. When serotonin is at normal levels, you feel more focused, emotionally stable, happier and calmer. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression.
- Love produces oxytocin the ‘love hormone’, which gives us a rush of pleasure feelings from affection to connection. This lowers cortisol, the stress hormone, lowers stress, depression and anxiousness. Oxytocin can reduce cardiovascular stress, inflammation, improve the immune systems response, and reduce cardiovascular disease.
Dopamine, and serotonin and oxytocin are often referred to as our “happy hormones.” When you’re attracted to yourself or another person, your brain releases dopamine, your serotonin levels increase, and oxytocin is produced. This causes you to feel a surge of positive emotion.
Love is not something that we get from another – love is who we are, it is our natural essence and at the very heart of our being. If we allow love to flow in our body, we have the capacity to influence and change the actual physical processes of our body. And so SELF LOVE can be the strongest, most effective medicine in our world.