Naturism has helped me to accept my body. As a bigger woman, I’ve been made to feel like there's something wrong with me. But here, you learn that body types vary—and that they're all normal.
From Interview with Anonymous
Take a deep breath and relax! Nudity is more at this stage of life than just taking your clothes off... thankfully! Isn’t time came to become more mindful, shed negative feelings about your body and enjoy the fact that now that you are in the empty nester category, it is time to leave the bedroom door open for when you really want to go au naturel!
Nudity and Menopause
Menopause usually translates into covering up rather than taking it off, but if you are good with an itsy bitsy teeny-weeny bikini, then that’s good, too! Many women breathe a deep sigh of relief at this stage of the game and learn to ignore that airbrushed perfection on magazine covers touting the most perfect person in the world. We have got bigger and better things to think about!
So, next time you are standing in line at the store gazing at those perfect 10’s on the cover, think about what a trusted friend your body has been to carry you this far. Appreciate it! Live in the present and get ready to spend your time... exactly as you please! I hope, you feel better already. But, stay onboard, more to come…
Let it RAIN!
Rather than focusing on what’s not perfect in your life, while missing the things that are worth a second look, why not try mindfulness, which is just paying attention to what’s going on right in front of you. Simply put, live in the moment and enjoy your life as it unfolds, rather than continually ticking off your ‘to do’ list in your head, trying to be a good “girl”, a good mother, a good daughter, a good sister, and a good wife!
Studies show that this one psychological shift impacts almost every part of the body, affecting your hormones, immune system and even the psychological behaviors behind over-eating and substance abuse! Furthermore, mindfulness is also associated with stress reduction or MBSR, which stands for mindfulness based stress reduction.
Even long-time depression manifesting in anxiety and mood disorder moved in a positive direction through mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is so powerful that it impacts your DNA and can change the gray matter in your brain, say researchers. Long story short: mindfulness even affects your DNA and the aging process.
Here are some ways to become mindful:
ü Practice meditation (mind-body)
ü Attend movement meditation (free-form dance) classes
ü Take up yoga (physical component)
ü RAIN: Recognize strong emotions, acknowledge it, investigate it, and non-identify with what is there.
As we all move into the ‘empty nester’ category, discover the new transparency it offers by celebrating a renewed relationship with your significant other through open communication. Scientists suggest this time of life is ideal to become a couple again after years of identifying as just a parent. Men can suffer from empty nest syndrome, too, so it is a good time to partner up for grownup things—with the door open!
Privacy rocks! Plop down on the sofa, nude if you like, and learn how to have a conversation with your husband again about something other than, ‘the kids.’ Take a second look on your half now, when your relationship is tested through the new life stage – stage of renewed intimacy and rediscovery. Are you ready to take this step forward?
Love Your Body
Finally, menopause is a time to relax your self-imposed rules about having to look perfect all the time, especially in the nude. Consider your body a trusted friend who served you well through the years and treat it accordingly. Pert, taut and flat might not be the first words that come to mind, but there’s nothing wrong with curviness, soft skin and ‘my husband/boyfriend likes what he’s looking at,’ to replace them?
Loving yourself is the first step to accepting others. Acceptance is the first step to awareness and guess what with awareness, we are right back to mindfulness. So, give your DNA a rest from constant stress and anxiety, which leads to early aging. It’s time to enjoy this new chapter of your life and release those self-doubts about... well everything! Live free and love it.
Go Out Nude
Being naked in privacy of your home is just a first step of your emotional and psychological liberation. Being clothes free in “social environment” settings bears multiple benefits you would never think about. Conservative culture of the previous centuries outlawed and prosecuted social nudity as inappropriate behavior, but there are many other things, previously being “out of the question”, we currently consider acceptable and normal. May be, this is a good time for you to reclaim the freedom of choice, of when, and to what degree, you should be covering your body in the various societal settings.
History reveals many cultures that were not clothes-minded. Spartans were basically bare and their victories in pan-Hellenic sports competitions enticed all neighboring Greeks to exercise nude, creating the word “gymnasium” (Greek gymnos = naked). Romans mingled in magnificent bathhouses, enjoying dense communal nudity as they drank, dined, defecated, bathed, read books, argued politics, and watched theater.
Adamists — naked heretics — performed stripped-down church services in North Africa, Bohemia, the Netherlands, and England. Pre-Hitler Germans were avid adherents of Freikorperkultur (“Free Body Culture”) with 70,000 attending co-ed Nacktkultur schools.
There are naked Japanese in hot springs, naked Finns in saunas, “sky-clad” Jain monks in India, plus millions of nudists worldwide going to “Nakation” camps, beaches, and resorts.
They are still sporty as Spartans, eager to hike naked (“free bush rambling”), canoe naked (“canuding”), bicycle naked, ride horses naked, run naked, play volleyball, badminton, ping-pong and chess naked, swim naked, dance naked, do Naked Yoga, Naked Tai Chi, Naked Gardening, Naked Bowling, and of course, many of us, perhaps you and I, dear readers, are NIFOC — Naked in Front of Computers.
Here is some overwhelming evidence suggesting that skin-only can be superior, proven by scientists to the various degrees of validity:
1. Born Free
Pediatricians agree that infants thrive with a daily dose of “naked time” because the unhampered range of motion aids brain development, stimulating neuron growth. Recent discoveries reveal that the “plastic” brain changes and develops throughout our entire lives. Neuroplasticity pioneer Michael M. Merzenich believes, “Everything that you can see happen in a young brain can happen in an older brain.” Doesn’t this imply that “naked time” is equally valuable for humans of any age, especially the elderly?
2. Weakened Bodies
A 2003 University of Reading study entitled “A Naked Ape Would Have Fewer Parasites” posits that “humans evolved hairlessness to reduce parasite loads, especially ectoparasites that may carry disease.” Unfortunately, the garments we wear can be a breeding ground for filthy fungi and bad bacterium, causing yeast infections, urinary tract infections, rotting toenails. Lyme Disease deer ticks can grab onto our sweaters and sea lice can sneak into our bathing suit crotches. Cinched-up belts, ties, and clothes impede breathing. Men’s snug pants raise testicle temperature, lowering sperm count and fertility.
3. Barefoot Medicine
Going shoeless is now recognized as an anti-Alzheimer’s, brain-boosting activity because the sole sensation entices your brain into growing extra, efficient neuron connections. Dr. Norman Doidge (author of The Brain That Changes Itself) believes skipping shoes increases brain flexibility and youthfulness, and many podiatrists now advise going barefoot as much as possible. Bare feet are today’s prescription. Will tomorrow’s elixir take the next step: Bare Body?
4. Burning Fat Faster?
Your body’s main supply of brown adipose tissue (BAT), or good fat cells, are located around your shoulder blades and neck. When your body is exposed to the elements and is cooler, the BAT proliferates and essentially kills the white adipose tissue, aka bad fat cells. So, not wearing any clothes helps promote this and makes you healthier.
5. Sleeping Naked
Sleeping is one of the most important activities that helps to keep you healthy and relaxed throughout your life. Getting the right amount of sleep is very crucial, almost as important as eating, and it has several health and mental benefits. However, you can be able to reap far more benefits by sleeping without clothes.
Naked sleeping is a liberating experience that allows you to sleep comfortably and helps you to feel free and happy – the lack of constrictive clothes and the feeling of being sandwiched between cool sheets is very stimulating. Sleeping also exposes your skin to fresh air, especially your private parts, armpits, and feet, which are usually covered by layers of clothing during the day. It also helps you to maintain an optimal body temperature, which enhances the production of cortisol hormone. This helps to keep you relaxed during the day, improves your moods, and helps you to effectively manage stress and anxiety.
6. Superior Socialization
Most people live with the constant fear that their body is not good enough. This is especially the case with women, who are made to feel inferior if their bodies do not match the ideal body images shown in fashion magazines. For example, most women will feel inferior if they perceive that their breasts are too small or too large, or if their bodies are too thin or too large. As a result, people are always under pressure to live up to the mythical ideal image, and use clothes as a way of hiding their feelings of inferiority. Naturism helps to avoid this, by helping people to understand that their self-perceived body imperfections are nothing more than a confirmation of the diversity of human bodies. This helps people to accept their bodies, and respect those of the others.
Self-actualization proponent Abraham Maslow believed “Nudism… is itself a kind of therapy.” Health benefits of social nudity include stress reduction, satiation of curiosity about the human body, reduction of porn addiction, a sense of full-body integration and developing a wholesome attitude about the opposite gender. Research at the University of Northern Iowa discovered that nudists have significantly higher body self-acceptance. Another study concluded that teens at a New York nudist camp were “extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful.” It’s also excellent for children to grow up free of shame about the human body.
7. Tolerant Views
A University of Central Florida 2008 study of 384 participants concluded that pro-nudity students “were significantly more accepting of other religious groups and gays and lesbians” when compared to the anti-nudity students. They were also “less prejudiced towards ethnically dissimilar others.”
8. Healthy Sexuality
Contrary to what most people believe, clothing focuses attention on sexuality. In today’s society, partial clothing is considered very sexually stimulating, and it is used to sell products. The current trends in the fashion industries are also aimed at eroticizing different parts of the body, for example, the breasts, hips or buttocks. This has led to increase of immature forms of sexuality in the society, leading to immorality. Naturism on the other hand, focuses the attention on the acceptance of the body and its imperfection. Shedding of all clothes makes people become familiar with a nakedness, which helps to reduce curiosity and enchantment that is common with partial clothing. This helps people who engage in naturism lifestyle to become more mature sexually.
According to studies, countries that support naturism have a lower rate of teenage pregnancy and abortion. This is due to the fact that naturism promotes the understanding of sexuality by reducing the moral disapproval that comes with trying to seek such knowledge. This reduces the inquisitiveness that is common with most teens, who experiment with early sex without being completely aware of what it entails.
9. Healthy Couples’ Relationship
According to a recent survey that was conducted on naturism in March 2016, most people joined the lifestyle because their partner was interested in. The lifestyle helps people to accept their bodies, and it has been shown to promote healthier sexuality, which can help to strengthen the relationship between couples. It also provides a safe place where couples can spend quality time together and share their thoughts, feelings and desires. The acceptance of one’s body also helps to boost confidence, self-esteem, as well as break down various barriers that can hinder fulfillment in a relationship. In addition, naturism promotes honest communication based on trust, which can promote healthy relationships.
10. Soothe Away Your Crazies
Massage is recognized as a therapeutic treatment for mental health issues like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolarism, borderline personality disorder, learning difficulties, and low self-esteem. naturism acts as a form of massage — improving blood flow and detoxifying the lymph system — is duplicated by the warmth, freedom, and improved circulation generated in nakedness.
11. Soak Up the Rays
Vitamin D deficiency is currently soaring, with up to 75% of USA teens and adults receiving insufficient amounts of the “sunshine vitamin.” Lack of this essential health aid is a factor in numerous ailments, including cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Anyone who bares all outside as a “naturist” harvests larger amounts of Vitamin D in a quicker time span. In addition to improving the physical health of the body, exposure to sunlight also helps to improve mental health; sunbathing naked helps to promote an overall feeling of well-being in your body, which can help to lift your moods.
12. Financial Liberation
Clothes are a huge money and time-suck with shopping, laundry, closets, dressers, and gazillions of hours wasted wondering what so-and-so looks like with their garments removed. The global market for swimsuits alone is expected to reach $17.6 billion annually by 2015; our carbon footprint would shrink like a wool sweater if fabric was no longer manufactured.
13. Self-Esteem Boost
Clothes are used by the society as an indicator of social status, which can lead to feelings of superiority and inferiority. In a naturism lifestyle, once people remove their clothes, everyone is considered an equal and very little attention is paid to the social status. In addition, the feeling of euphoria that comes with exposing your body to nature helps to boost your confidence, which is a major boost to your self-esteem.
Think about it. If you can walk around your apartment naked and happy, walking across a room in clothes is probably a piece of cake. If you can eat a piece of cake naked and happy (this might be my ultimate goal, in life), then you can definitely do anything. Liking yourself naked is liking yourself exposed, flawed, complicated, and undone. If you can like yourself like that, you can face the world proud and naked! Or just proud. With the confidence of a confident naked person.
Naturism is a liberating lifestyle that gives you a great sense of freedom when you remove your clothes and expose yourself to nature. Being naked is more comfortable, and it allows you to enjoy activities such as sunbathing and swimming more. Being naked also removes the restrictions placed on your body by the clothing, which makes it easier and more enjoyable when moving around and performing various activities.
In addition to giving your body freedom, nudism also gives you freedom from the various entrapments that exist in the society. According to Paul Ableman, naturism symbolizes the “taking off” of civilization and the various constraints that it comes with.
According to Dr. Robert Henley Woody, the fear of being naked is a defense mechanism of the body. A lot of people develop this mechanism to help protect themselves from feeling inferior due to their self-perceived imperfections. This can lead to a compulsion to be always clothed, even when it is not socially required to do so, or even when it is uncomfortable for your body. While this compulsion can help to protect you from feeling inferior, it can also hinder the growth of new behaviors that can help you to grow psychologically. Naturism can help you to avoid this by freeing your body, mind, and spirit, and helping to improve your mental health.
According to naturists, one of the main benefits of naturism is that it provides an incredible feeling of relaxation. As a naturist, you can be able to enjoy your surroundings without caring about various societal entrapments such as status and fear of being inferior. In addition, naturism provides an environment where people view each other as equal and accept each other for their true self. Therefore, you can be able to shed all the defense mechanisms you have adopted so as to protect yourself. This allows you to enjoy your life more, which can be more relaxing than in the textile world.
16. Connect with Nature
Naturism is a lifestyle that promotes living in harmony with nature and respect for the environment. As a result, most people who engage in the lifestyle feel more connected to the nature while naked. For example, sunbathing or swimming is more enjoyable when swimming naked than when you are wearing clothes. The euphoric feeling that you get when the wind blows on your naked body or when walking about on barefoot is very invigorating, and it helps you enjoy your surroundings more.
17. Nude Soaking, Sauna
Sweat lodges were used by indigenous people of the Americas long before Europeans arrived. Nobody knows when saunas were first used in Nordic countries, because it was before most of their recorded history. And natural hot springs were undoubtedly used by any humans who had access to them as long as there have been humans. Such things have been popular because they are physically relaxing and stress-reducing. This is probably because of endorphins that reduce stressful physical pain and tension.
18. Swimming Pleasure
Before the YMCA became co-ed in the early 1960s, men and boys swam completely nude. Since nylon was a relatively new invention at that time, it was feared that allowing swimsuits made of cotton or wool in the pool would clog up their filtration system.
Most nudist resorts are located near a swimming pool or beach. When you are swimming naked, you don't have to fight the waves as much. Also, when swimming nude, the water simply feels better against your unencumbered skin than when you're wearing a wet swim suit or trunks. Then, when you get out of the water, you don't have to worry about that icky feeling of a wet swim suit clinging to your body.
19. Dancing Naked
Dancing is a fun activity that has a lot of physical and psychological benefits. However, you can be able to intensify these benefits, and even enjoy it more, by dancing naked. This is a completely practical thing to do, as it gets rids of restrictive clothing that can interfere with your movements, making it more comfortable. It is also very liberating, and you can do while alone, with your partner, or with a group of like-minded people, and without caring about the societal norms.
20. Reduce Patriarchy and Promotes Female Liberation
Clothing promotes a patriarchal society where women are expected to dress according to certain requirements. Those who do not follow these requirements are frowned upon by the society, and often exposed to prejudices. Clothing also helps to promote the sexualization of women’s bodies, which leads to sexual deviant behaviors such as pornography and sexual harassment. Naturism on the other hand, advocates for the acceptance of other people as equals and helps people to respect their bodies. This helps to eliminate male oriented expectations that are repressive to women.
While the gender-related deviations in the societal expectations are much smaller in the Western World, comparing with the religion-dominated countries, there are still substantial. Bare male and female chests are still perceived differently by the Law and by the general public.
Nakedness is the greatest equalizer you can imagine.
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