Due to cultural taboos around women’s bodies, many of us go through life not quite knowing what’s going on in there. We tend to use euphemisms to describe our body, shroud it with a layer of mystery and even avoid the subject completely. This is silly.

Women, it’s time to take control and get to know your own body in all its glory.

Get to Know Your Natural Shape

The most natural place to do this is in the shower. Just run your hands over your body, letting your fingers get to know every inch. If you do this every few weeks, you will certainly notice if something feels wrong much sooner than if you don’t. For example, it is a good idea to perform a quick breast exam on yourself every so often so that should something appear, you can go straight to the doctor.

If you do find something has changed, there’s no need to panic. Women have all kinds of lumps and bumps throughout our lives and most of the time they are completely benign. However, recognizing that something is different and taking it straight to your doctor is a good way to get any necessary treatment as soon as possible.

Do Go to Exams

No-one likes going to get a Pap test or having a doctor perform a physical exam. It’s a bit uncomfortable and can feel embarrassing. However, this is your best chance to get to know your body and ask a professional all those questions you wish you had asked in biology all those years ago. Medical professionals who do well woman exams are always there to care for you and will answer your questions without any judgement.

If you are feeling nervous, or haven’t been to a test before, you can always take a friend with you if you want. You can also ask your doctor or nurse to explain everything they are going to do before they do it so that you are fully informed. The main thing to remember is that all women have the same bits so for all that you might be a bit embarrassed, there’s nothing your doctor or nurse hasn’t seen before!

Take Care of Your Mental Health

While it is common to think of mental health as being separate to your body, the reality is that both mental and physical health are closely linked. For example, stress might make you lose a lot of weight or make you feel exhausted. Women tend not to be so worried about sharing their emotions or feeling as men are, but we should still take time to think about how we are feeling and whether this is normal, abnormal or well out of character.

When you understand your body a little better, you will also understand your needs and how to satisfy them. Activities like meditation or mindful activities like coloring a vision board will give you time to think about what you really want and how you are going to get it.

Happiness is subjective, but, it is also a significant part of keeping you healthy and knowing who you are.