Written by Jenn Hand, Holistic Nutritionist, Board Certified Health Coach, NBC-HWC
It continues to amaze me just how many women (and men) struggle with some sort of weight issue, body distress, or eating struggle. I was discussing my business vision with a friend who admitted her own struggles with some of these issues to me:
“Feeling uncomfortable in your own skin is a suffocating feeling and very difficult to handle when people look at you and think you’re crazy for thinking that or just don’t understand.”
I so resonated with that.
I remember feeling so uncomfortable in my body, so unhappy with my weight, and so distressed about my imperfections, that I didn’t know how to handle these debilitating feelings. The suffocation I felt was often paralyzing.
There is a way to remedy this feeling.
Next time you have one of these “I just want to jump out of my body and into someone else’s so I feel normal” moments, remember these helpful mindset shifts:
The Danger of Our Mind
In the moments when you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, you are completely identified with your mind.
It is our minds that spiral us into thoughts of discomfort and being ill at ease in our bodies. Yes, there may be times when you’ve eaten too much and you are uncomfortably full.
In this case, you may actually be feeling physical discomfort in your body.
But on a day to day basis, when you feel like you are suffocating in your own body and you just want to fast forward a few days and feel normal, realize you are entirely in your head. Our minds can be a dangerous thing when we let them spiral out of control.
If not kept in check, our thoughts can easily become destructive and critical; we convince ourselves we will uncontrollably gain weight, never feel satisfied with our bodies, and never be happy with ourselves.
When you become aware of these thoughts, and the potential to go down a destructive mind-track, you can stop the spiral before it starts.
Do More BODY Living
Explore ways to get more in touch with your body.
Taking steps to get OUT of your mind and INTO your body will start your journey towards feeling comfortable.
What brings you back to your body?
Going for a run?
Taking a Pilates or yoga class?
Once you begin to experiment with what your body actually FEELS like, you begin to walk the path towards more body centered living. Another wonderful tool for bringing yourself into the present is deep breathing.
When you find yourself getting caught up in your mind, take 10 deep breaths.
It will work wonders for realigning your focus back into your body.
The Path to Freedom
Realize that overcoming the suffocating feeling won’t happen overnight.
For those who struggle with food, weight, and body image issues, this is unwelcome news. We are incessantly looking for that one magic “thing” that will solve our problems forever. Remember, though, that these habits didn’t develop in a day. These thoughts and behaviors escalated into mind-habits over the years. So, too, will the path towards living more in your body. But don’t let that discourage you. Because you only have to deal with each “episode” as it arises.
The next time you feel the suffocation, the desire to escape out of your body, and the discomfort in your own skin, use the deep breathing to bring you back into the moment.
You only have to get through this moment, this day, this time.
Each time you successfully overcome one of these “episodes”, you are building the foundation to do it again the next time. This is how our new, healthy habits develop. Each time you navigate through the feelings of discomfort, you strengthen the new thought pattern until it becomes a natural way of thinking and being.
It is possible to begin to break free from the feeling of suffocation and discomfort in your own skin.
Remember these tools the next time you notice yourself slipping into this feeling.
Where in your life can you incorporate these tools? What are some ways you can help yourself feel more comfortable in your body? Leave a comment below!
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About the Author:
Jenn Hand has been helping women like you become normal eaters since 2015.
She’s worked with thousands of women, helping them to balance their bodies, end bingeing, stop obsessing over food, and start feeling amazing again. As a board-certified health coach and holistic nutritionist, Jenn knows how to support you in making real positive changes that last.
Her articles have been published on Mind Body Green, Tiny Buddha, Thrive Global and other local and global media platforms. She’s the author of How to Be a Normal Eater and the creator of The Normal Eater’s Club program. Listen to Jenn’s advice and tips on the Cake Doesn’t Count Podcast, or read more of her articles for free on the Food Freedom Blog.Learn more about coaching with Jenn >>