This guide is part of the Body Confidence Course, a free video series where acclaimed sex coach Georgia Grace and psychologist Rashida Dungarwalla share the insights and exercises they use to help their clients build more body confidence every day.
Often our emotions will be paired with a behaviour, and a common practice for those who are feeling discomfort is to ‘body check’. This is the practice of looking at, touching, or evaluating our body multiple times a day. Many of us check our bodies throughout the day to make sure we look the way we want—when we first get dressed, when we’re putting on a fun new outfit for a night out, or when we’re about to give an important work presentation—but when we check our bodies to an excessive degree for no reason, it can become uncomfortable and frustrating.
But as we know, our brains are hardwired to confirm what we anticipate we’ll see rather than observing what is present. For example, if we’re going to the mirror to check bloating, or our skin, or the size of our nose, we will fixate on those little details rather than seeing our body as a whole. As an experiment, we’ve got an activity in ‘Episode 3 exercises’ where we invite you to keep a tally of how often and for how long you check your body. If you add this tally up, you might find that you’re spending a long time every day on checking your body, longer than you want. This level of body checking can even have a knock on effect for our social and sexual experiences, because we become hyper aware of how our bodies look rather than how they feel.