I think by now most of you have heard the phrase “listen to your body.” It’s been thrown around pretty often lately. I know I myself talk about it A LOT. I know it took me a while to grasp the concept and importance of listening to my body, and I get it now, I really get it. And yes, there are those that do get it, but I am finding that there are many that don’t really understand what it means or why they should do it.
“Listening to your body” actually just refers to learning how to tune into the way your body talks to you.
The body is one smart cookie. It sends you messages 24-7. You’re constantly receiving messages from your body in various forms like hunger, pain, pleasure, thirst, sickness, when you are tired...Some messages feel good and some not so much. It’s those ‘not so good’ messages, the uncomfortable feelings that we tend to ignore or suppress as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, when you get in the habit of ignoring these messages, you miss out on what those messages are here to tell you.
For those that may not be so good at listening, you know the ones I am talking about…
The overachiever that works through colds, flus, bronchitis because they just can’t stop.
The burned out mom and caregiver who gives so much of themselves that they have no time or energy left at the end of the day for themselves.
The perfectionist that is so focused on getting things right that they are stressed out all of the time and they are wound so tight they could snap.
Do you fall into any of these categories? I know I been. More times than I can count. Seriously...way too many times. As I have mentioned, I am a stubborn one, so it takes me a while ;)
The truth is, we are ALL going to have times when we don’t listen what our body is telling us. It’s going to happen and that’s ok.
What we are aiming for is ‘most of the time.’ And when we slow down and listen to our bodies, our lives and our health can improve. Who doesn’t want that?
If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream! For me, the stubborn one over here, it had to scream before I started listening.
Some messages are easy and some make take years of exploration, healing, and inner detective work, and possibly a dash of surrender, or maybe a shit load, it all depends.
There are so many benefits to doing this. Here are a few ways your life improves when you learn to listen to your body.
Your body tells you when you need to slow down and relax. These messages often come in the form of tiredness, flareups of old chronic issues, head and neck tension...If you ignore those messages, it will send louder ones (believe me, I know) in the form of sickness, injury, panic attacks, random physical symptoms. I could go own, but I think you get what I mean.
Learning how to tune into your body will also give you the information you need to elevate your day to day health from “ I feel fine” to “I feel amazing.”
Feeling less crazy around food
This is where so many can get tripped up. There is so much information about what and what not to eat out there. How about this. See how you feel after you eat something. Does it give you energy or take it away? Does it make you feel good or like shit? Just because your bestie is a vegetarian doesn’t mean that is going to work for you.
Doing the work on this (and yes, this is going to take some work) will allow you to hear and understand your body’s messages around food.
When it comes down to it, instead of trying to adhere to rules and restrictions, it becomes mind-blowingly simple: what will make your body feel good?
The louder the messages get gives you the opportunity to ask questions, explore, and then address whatever you uncover. With some practice, listening and responding to your body’s messages you will most likely feel more empowered, energized, happier and healthier. With all of those things comes trust in yourself.
This is a big one. Self-trust is the enemy of anxiety and insecurity. Knowing I did this lets you relax into yourself, trusting that you and your body are always on the same team, and the answers are always inside of you. TRUST
As you start to play around with this and you notice that your body is talking to you.
Stop and Recognize. Simply stop and become aware of how it is talking to you.
Experience. Experience + feel fully any emotion associated with this.
Tune in + Reflect. Practice curiosity. Judgement-free zone. What is your body telling you? Ask what your body really needs.
Your body is the be all end all when it comes to knowing what’s best for you. It knows you well. Listen to it. Doing so will also help you reconnect to YOU!