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Cultivating a Loving Relationship With Your Body – Psychology Today

Our conversations are sprinkled with slips, pauses, lies, and clues to our inner world. Here’s what we reveal when we speak, whether we mean to or not.
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Posted  | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan
So much of the work that I do in therapy is about helping my clients experience embodiment and pleasure. Without pleasure, there is no desire, and without a connection to one’s body, there is no pleasure.
It may sound simple, but reclaiming or reviving physical pleasure and connection to sensation can be very difficult. Many of us are lacking a strong loving connection with our physical selves. Instead, we tend to approach our bodies as if they were not a part of our integrated systemic whole. We often treat our bodies with shame, loathing, and punishment, both in our actions and in the way we think about our bodies. This strongly negative approach doesn’t work to create a positive experience of any kind.
But how do we change how we think about and experience our bodies?
Here’s a short and sweet exercise I use with my clients when they want to experience more embodiment, pleasure, or desire through strengthening their connection with their body. It’s designed to get the mental and emotional gears turning in a new direction.
If you want to explore a little more, here are some questions to consider:
Now I want to share an important fact: You are your body. Your brain is a collection of nerve cells that connect throughout your body, which is made of more cells, and that communication and connection happen via electrical impulses, gasses, and liquids. Your body and brain are completely intertwined and cannot be separated.
Learning to tell yourself honestly positive things about your body, and learning to access the pleasure of embodiment, allow you to tap into the “rest-and-restore” parasympathetic nervous system where healing (and also arousal) happen. This is all fabulous for your body. Your mental health and your physical health are not separate. So, take a deep breath, unclench, and give yourself some love. It’s good for you.
Martha Kauppi, LMFT, CST-S, is a therapist, author, and educator specializing in complex relational therapy, sex issues, and alternative family structures.
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Our conversations are sprinkled with slips, pauses, lies, and clues to our inner world. Here’s what we reveal when we speak, whether we mean to or not.

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