Goodbye Mindfulness, Hello Bodyfulness: The New Presence Practice
Amongst the endless pressures, distractions, and overwhelm that come from everyday life, practices such as mindfulness have risen to the forefront of the wellness world over the last several years, but have you ever considered that your physical body could benefit from “mindfulness,” too?
As overworked and overstressed as our minds are amongst the busyness of life, our bodies also feel the stress. While we certainly can tell when our brain is feeling overloaded, stress and overwhelm can manifest in our bodies, as well. Understanding the connection between body and mind can be an eye-opening new perspective when it comes to finding the balance we crave amongst the chaos.
From the time the alarm clock buzzes to when our weary heads finally hit the pillow, we often move through our days unaware of the pressures we put on our bodies amidst the constant pull of having “too much to do.” Skipping meals, sitting for far too long as we toil away on our computers, not drinking enough water, choosing a few more hours of hustle over much-needed sleep — unfortunately, nourishing our bodies often falls to the very bottom of the priority list, leaving us feeling deeply depleted.
The Body and Mind Are Connected
More and more studies and education are shining light on the inextricable link between the body and mind. Your brain is not the only thing that takes on stress, information, and triggers — your body feels everything the mind encounters and has to navigate it, too! Just as our mental health is a reflection of our mind’s well-being, our physical health can also be a mirror into where our bodies may be out of balance.
Our bodies often send out signals and sensations that warn us when we’re pushing the limit. However, without tuning in to our bodies, we often miss the memo until it becomes too intense to ignore.
For example, maybe you are experiencing frequent headaches — rather than taking this as a hint from our bodies and taking extra care, we often simply reach for quick-relief pill bottles, guzzle down even more caffeine, or push through and hope it’ll pass. Your headache, however, could be your body’s way of telling you that your overburdened brain needs a rest, a cue that it’s time to take a screen break, or a reminder that your body needs hydration and fuel before it can keep performing.
Pause for just a moment, and think about how you experience stress. Many of us can easily identify how our brains think about stress in the moment (tense, overwhelmed, racing thoughts, disoriented), but are you able to take note of how your body feels during stress?
Some ways the body might signal during peak stress:
- Clenching your teeth or tightening your jaw
- Racing heart or butterflies in your stomach
- Tightness or heaviness in the chest
- Fidgeting with your hands or bouncing your legs
- Feeling sick to your stomach
- Changes in breath patterns, such as more rapid breathing and/or holding your breath
- Pounding, pulsing, or tension in your head, neck, or temples
- Changes in your voice — shorter, more terse, or sometimes louder
- A general bracing throughout the body, like we’re preparing to leap into action without doing so
For many of us, we might not even notice the shifts in our body when we experience overwhelm, but these can be valuable indicators that it’s time to take a break, a deep breath, or recalibrate and choose a new direction. When we’re tuned in to our bodies, we can respond and take small, proactive steps to reroute ourselves before stress pushes us to the point of exhaustion, reactivity, and breakdowns.
So how do we learn to listen to our bodies more, so we can better navigate and care for ourselves? By learning to bring more presence, intentionality, and awareness to our physical sensations, through a practice that promotes what we call “bodyfulness.”
What is Bodyfulness?
Bodyfulness goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness — the same concepts of slowing down, learning to listen inward, and bringing gentle focus on the present moment all apply when integrating these two power practices. Mindfulness strengthens your aptitude for awareness, and paying attention to your body’s cues and clues is a practice in itself! With regular bodyfulness practice, we can rewire our minds to more readily notice the physical experience and sensations of our bodies and respond to our physical needs, moment by moment.
Bodyfulness Practices to Get Started
Check out our simple tips to get started practicing bodyfulness below:
- Before you get out of bed, spend 2-3 minutes doing a quick body scan. This is an easy, gentle practice to ease into your day and check in with your body! Simply bring awareness to each body part, head to toe, for a few moments, noticing any sensations such as tightness, soreness, feelings of congestion, stuckness, discomfort.
Pro Tip: If you notice an area that could use some love and attention, use touch to soothe the problem area. This might look like a luxurious, quick massage of your scalp, rubbing gentle circles between your eyes and on the forehead, or (my favorite!) hugging your knees into your chest while lying on your back and gently rocking for a few moments of self-love!
- Next time you start to feel stressed or tense, take note of your body’s unique signals. Keep a notepad on your desk or by your bedside, and jot down a few quick notes so you can start to observe how your body reacts to stress. As you practice this, you’ll be surprised at how many “pre-trigger signals” your body sends you before you snap!
Pro Tip: Once you are able to recognize your body’s stress signals ramping up, it’s time to redirect. Try a Rapid Calming Melt at the first sign of overwhelm — with an onset time of 5 minutes, you’ll be able to ease back into the present moment.
- Explore new ways of moving your body. Exercise has so many benefits for both body and mind, but more and more of us are realizing that gentle movement integrated throughout our day might be more soothing and accessible than carving out 2 hours at the gym.
Pro Tip: Take small breaks throughout the day, and move however feels best in the moment. Whether some easy neck stretches, popping on a 5-minute chair yoga video, standing up to shake out your legs or arms — get some blood flowing and energy moving through your body!
- Use your CBD routine ritual as a reminder system for checking in with yourself each day. Your daily CBD routine is a great time of day to check in with yourself. Before you take a dose of CBD, pause and ask yourself how your body is feeling. Listen to what your body needs, and then take even one small step to nourish yourself throughout your day. Having our CBD Roller Duo handy can be a quick and simple way to re-energize.
Pro Tip: Set a few daily reminders on your phone to prompt you to check in with yourself and take your dose of CBD. Use these reminders as mini anchor points of calm and presence throughout your day.
- Integrate bodyfulness in your bedtime wind-down routine. Our bodies work hard all day, and integrating some body self-care is the ideal way to ease into better sleep. Sleep is our body’s way to restore itself, so having a nighttime routine can support the deep rest that your body needs. Incorporate some gentle evening stretches, yoga nidra, or a simple breathing practice; you’ll love how your body feels when you prepare it for bedtime.
Pro Tip: We love our Sleep Gummies for blissful sleep! With an onset time of 30 minutes to 1 hour, you can chew your gummy and practice some bodyfulness while you unwind into a restorative night of rest.
- Say “Thank you” to your body, every now and again: Our bodies do so much! Day in and day out, they support, carry, and move us. Just as our bodies communicate with us, how we communicate back can be a key practice when it comes to bodyfulness — truly embodying and accepting ourselves, in all of our forms and in every age and stage.
Pro Tip: Don’t be shy; try sharing gratitude with yourself by saying the words “thank you” to your body. Try saying it (aloud or in your head) when you’re putting on body oil in the morning, as you wash away the day in the shower, or in front of the mirror getting ready. Your body will thank you back!
Why Bodyfulness as the new Mindfulness?
Bodyfulness is one way we can find more presence and balance and can be a transformative tool for your wellness journey. The body is an incredible, complex, beautiful vehicle for life — your body deserves nourishment, attention, and deep self-care to keep it running properly and for you to feel your very best!
At EQ, we believe well-being starts from the inside out, and supporting more balance with a regular CBD routine is at the core of our wellness philosophy!
Questions? You can set up a complimentary Dosage Consultation with one of our Dosage Specialists for support with adjusting your routine. Or you can email our team if you have any questions!