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Body Image in a Heartbeat

Are you in tune with your body? According to The Telegraph, recent research shows that women feel better about their bodies when they sit in front of a mirror and listen to their heartbeat. By consciously observing an internal body signal, such as a heartbeat, we become reconnected with our physical being and less likely to objectify our bodies. Dr Manos Tsakiris who led the study said:

“People have the remarkable ability to perceive themselves from the perspective of an outside observer. However, there is a danger that some women can develop an excessive tendency to regard their bodies as ‘objects’, while neglecting to value them from within, for their physical competence and health. Women who ‘self-objectify’, in this way [can become vulnerable]….”

It’s easy to tune out from what our bodies are saying. We all do at some point as often the sheer noise of life drowns out our body signals. Yesterday evening we were discussing this topic with the lovely Abbi from Beyond Chocolate.  The secret of Beyond Chocolate’s success is based on the principle of listening to your body and understanding what it requires. If we do not take the time to listen to our internal signals and become disconnected, then the message of what our body requires will become unclear.

So how can we reconnect? Time is a precious resource especially when we have pressing work and family commitments. Abbi made a great point when she highlighted that often when women take time for themselves, it is viewed as an indulgence or a treat that we need to justify. In its own way this becomes a form of escapism, for example going to a spa, which we ‘do’ in order to spend time with ourselves.  We need to remember  that the best leadership always comes from within and if taking time to connect with ourselves means we have a better quality of life, then we owe it to ourselves (and those around us) to take a few moments every day to tune into our bodies.

Remember…greater awareness of our body’s internal signals prompts us to make healthy choices. Take the time today to listen to what your body is saying.

2 thoughts on “Body Image in a Heartbeat

  1. Loved this – Very thought provoking. I’m often very guilty of viewing my body as an object and not always treating it with the respect I should. May be I’ll try to remember to stand back from the mirror for a sec and listen to my heart beat instead sometimes :-)

  2. Health is a message from the body — this includes mental health, too. I like this idea, but I think the emphasis needs to be on society’s impact on body image. We wouldn’t need to focus on our heartbeats if society was more inclusive, less judgmental, held negative forces accountable.