Knowing and loving your body both inside and out aren’t just pretty words commonly used by commercials. Research proves that there are psychological benefits in doing so.

According to a feature on ScienceDaily.com, being aware of your body helps you objectify it less. A team of experts led by Vivien Ainley and Manos Tsakiris of the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London, worked with healthy young women from ages 19 to 26. The participants were asked to listen to and count their own heartbeats. Their accuracy was compared to how they saw themselves as individuals, and interestingly, those who were more accurate in perceiving their inner rhythm were less likely to self-objectify than those who weren’t.

"People have the remarkable ability to perceive themselves from the perspective of an outside observer. However, there is a danger that some women can develop an excessive tendency to regard their bodies as 'objects,' while neglecting to value themselves from within, for their physical competence and health. Women who 'self-objectify,' in this way, are vulnerable to eating disorders and a range of other clinical conditions such as depression and sexual dysfunction," Dr. Tsakaris explains.

Do you listen to your body well enough? Give yourself time to check on how exactly you’re doing by being aware of your internal signals. Not only is it a healthy way of knowing your physical, emotional, and mental status, but it’ll also teach you to value yourself more.

(Photo by Rory MacLeod via Flickr Creative Commons)

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