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The Heartache of Over Identification or Disconnection From Our Bodies

Reestablishing a strong connection with your physical body is an essential component of experiencing connection to your whole self.

In a prior article on self-connection, I take a holistic approach to self-connection encouraging you to assess the connection you have with all parts of your self, your physical self, emotional self, mental self, relational self, and intuitive self.


The Physical, Emotional, Mental, Intuitive, and Relational Selves.

Well being arises when we experience balance amongst the parts of ourselves. This balance in awareness and attention contributes to an optimal connection with the self.

Sadly, in our fast paced overly demanding society most of us do not experience balance in self-connection. We have some parts of the self that we over-identify with and other parts of the self that we are disconnected from. Well-being or the lack of well-being in one area of the self will lead to imbalances in the other areas of self, even to those parts of the self that we insist upon attending to.

In this article, I will share with you the benefits of a healthy connection to your physical self and the harm that arises on all levels when we experience disconnection or over-identification with our physical or bodily self. 

Some of the Benefits of a Balanced Connection With The Physical Self

  • You feel physically balanced.

  • You sense your muscles and joints and organs, such as the heart, at work and you trust that they are working well.

  • Your body feels in balance, and you’re able to sense your muscles, joints, veins, and lungs at work.

  • You find joy in movement overall as well as experiencing the gift of flexibility, strength, power, and grace.

  • You honor your body rather than engaging in a war with it or punishing it. 

  • You are aware of the signals your body gives you and can attend to health and healing before problems become significant.
  • You sleep better.

  • Experiencing your body in motion releases difficult emotions.

  • Experiencing our bodies in motion brings a sense of joy and freedom.

We deserve to be connected to our bodies regardless of whether we do or don’t exercise, whether we are over or under or a “perfect” weight, whether we look like what society tells us we should look like or not.

Being aware of and caring about your body’s needs are critical aspects of self-care.  Self-care means we are aware of the needs of our bodies and we take small or large steps each day to honor our bodies and our experience of life in our bodies.


The more we experience the feelings of being physically alive, the more we can experience all the levels of the self as alive and vibrant. When we aren’t tuned into receiving positive physical connection with ourselves we may look to other ways to experience feeling physically alive, such as the feelings that arise when we engage in dangerous behavior in order to feel alive.


You can increase your sensory awareness of your body by simply being mindful of what your body feels and what it’s messages to you say.

We can so easily become disconnected from our bodies.

If you are notorious for sacrificing your own self-care in the service of others you are likely to experience disconnection with your physical self. Many of the women I work with feel unhappy with their bodies and that unhappiness leads to detachment. These woman are of every size and shape. Some do Pilates or played pickle ball while others get their movement from doing chores. Despite these differences, these women expressed that they felt similarly about their bodies.

Exercise is only one way to reconnect with our bodies.


There are so many different ways we can experience movement and when we enjoy that movement we enhance our connections with our physical selves.


Even if you run half-marathons or swim a mile in laps in the pool, explore whether you are enjoying your body and enjoying the movement of your body.

Can you be non-judgmental about the way your body performs and simply enjoy the movement?

Do you pressure yourself to get a certain amount of exercise?

Do you feel guilty if you don’t fit in a walk or miss the Saturday morning Power Sculpt Yoga?

Do you have unrealistic expectations about the ideal body?

Three of the most powerful interventions we can employ to feel once again connected with our bodies:

  • stop the constant mental criticism of our bodies,

  • stop the critical looking over of our bodies harshly in the mirror, and

  • stop insisting that we need exercise to burn calories rather than movement for joy and fun and feeling free.


Over-Identification With Our Bodies

Some of us are overly identified with our bodies and this also creates a significant imbalance amongst the parts of self.

If you are over identified with your body, you may notice the most minute details and worry about being sick. Over-connection leads to feeling exhausted but being unable to sleep. Discomforts rise quickly to register feelings of increasing pain. You may be very fanatical about the exact number on the scale or have a terrible day based upon what the scale reads. You may be obsessed with a very strict and stringent diet not related to a health condition but as an assurance to feel in control.

Some questions to ask yourself to evaluate your connection with your physical self:

  • Do you often feel tired and drained of energy?

  • Do you feel physically older or younger than your age?

  • Do you under eat or over eat?
  • Do you engage is any self-care rituals for your body?

  • Do you forget to eat?

  • Do you experience aches and pains often?

  • Do you routinely leave out certain food groups from your diet?

  • Do you only sit down to eat when you cook for others?

  • Do you experience joy from movement?

  • Do you enjoy the way certain fabrics feel against your skin?

  • Do you notice yourself getting goosebumps?
  • Do you feel the need to wear highly restrictive shape wear even when your doing something very casual?
  • Do you avoid or put off getting health check-ups?



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