I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. And, as a practitioner of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, I know that thoughts impact our emotions. My thoughts in the past three weeks have led to a roller coaster ride of emotions up the hill of elation down to the trough of sadness, around the corner to anxiety and around the loop of irritability, anger, and resentment. When my emotions range all over the place, I find myself struggling more with my body image. Yesterday, when I thought to myself, “I feel fat”, I recognized that “fat” is not a feeling. What I was feeling was anger and instead of venting it, I stuffed it down until it made me feel literally full and bursting at the seams.
One thing I’ve been doing to take better care of myself is tending to my body’s physical needs. That means paying better attention to my body’s hunger signals, its need for sleep, its need for play, and the need for touch. Last night, I treated myself to a 45-minute massage to fulfill that need for touch. As I lay on the heated table, feeling vulnerable and trying to keep negative thoughts at bay, I was brought back to the present moment by the healing touch of my massage therapist. Her warm hands were literally healing sore spots on my neck and shoulders, but it was her gentle massaging of my hands and fingers that nearly brought me to tears. Her hand, smaller than mine, gave me the distinct image of holding a child’s hand. It felt warm, caring, and healing.
Today, as my emotions continue to swirl, I am reminded of the power of touch — just another way in which our bodies are so amazing and should not be taken for granted. How often do you seek out a hug, a hand, or a touch from another? It has made a big difference to me this week.
Peace, joy, and healing touch,