Hey, it’s Your Body and Here’s what Happens to Me Each Day.
Written by Sally McGrath
Wake up, move you around, get you started for your day, talk, exercise, eat, walk, think, work, play, read, listen, run errands, make plans, deliver presentations, do projects, meet people, socialise with people, smile, laugh, cry, get stressed, get anxious, study, cook, clean, wash, plan, exercise, eat, watch, sleep and then make that body of yours actually function so you can do all of these activities! Are you exhausted? So is your body, so that’s why it is time to really “listen to your body”.
Your Body Really Works Hard for You
We hear this all the time: Listen to your body! We should follow how we feel, right? But what does this really mean? And how do we do it?
Maybe I feel like eating chips and chocolate instead of going for a run right now. Good, this is a plan I can follow! But I thought this was supposed to get me healthy. So now what? To what kinds of feelings am I listening? Maybe physical feelings, like stomach pain and tired feet? Or emotional feelings, like worry, doubt, or indecision?
There are two layers of feeling at work here. One is feeling in your body, your core, your nature. The other is your surface psychology, imprinted on top of it all. Following our psychology, our mind, can certainly keep us busy. We run about collecting all kinds of information and advice. We think it's critical to proper decision-making! But sometimes, the decisions don't come. We get trapped in worry, self-doubt, second-guessing. And if we do make decisions, we don't believe in them enough to let them live.
Luckily, there's this other kind of feeling, it's activating and strangely enough, it's a bit closer to the pain in your belly! Have you heard of trusting your gut? It's good advice! So, how do you know when your gut is talking to you? How can you tell the difference between your intuition and the part of you thinking about how to find that part of you?
Stop! Yes, stop thinking about it, for a moment, get quiet and get sensitive, to you. That feeling in your body is where you'll find your intuition, and your capability to act. You already know it's not in a self-help book, or waiting for you in the next podcast you have stored in your device. So it's time to look somewhere else. Your body is sending you messages, core, gut feelings, all the time. You don't need to reason them, simply be, listen and act on them.
"Talk to Me; Listen to Me; Respect Me”
Your Body has a Mute Button
Your body pays attention to you. It knows you're important! If you've spent a whole lot of time ignoring how you feel, just pushing along, your body has probably decided you're not interested in listening to these lines of communication. It hits the mute button, it may even hit the I will make you sick button, so that you are forced to slow down, stop and listen by resting.
It is time to turn up the volume on your ability to listen to your body! Here is how to start this in three simple steps:
1. Please Slow Down
When you drive through a school zone, the legal speed limit it 40km, during the designated times, well we're the same, we need to slow down at times and change the pace.
Rest assured, it is ok to speed up when you want to and it is easy to do this. It’s likely you are better at speeding up than slowing down. We all have plenty of practice in this department. So, if we want to slow down enough to hear something, we need to practice this, too.
2. Breathe Deeply to Encourage Relaxation
When you breathe normally, you don't create unusual sensations in your body, so this readily translates to virtually no sensation at all. Breathe deeply and make yourself as concious of your breathing as possible. Breathing has a wonderful way of centering the mind and body and can really reframe your state. Try it now!
Build in relaxation to your breathing, you will get more benefit and feel less tense and stiff. If it helps put your hand on your stomach to feel the ebb and flow of the breath and you’ll feel the stomach rise and fall with your breathing which can help induce a medatitive state, picture the air filling your body and flooding all that oxygen through you.
3. Move without Thinking or Deciding
Let your breath do this for you, and practice first in your body. When you're relaxed, your inhales will give you a lift, and your exhales will make you more movable. So let it move, don’t think, just move and go with the flow of the breath. You may feel inspired by music that is playing and start dancing or singing, allow yourself to simply be. There is no to make decisions just move, breathe and go with the flow.
Practice this with your body at first, and then try practicing it with everything! Just breathe, give it time, and watch what happens. Your body is already re-wiring itself, based on exactly what you're doing, right now.
When are You Actually “Listening To Your Body”
You’ll notice when you are in tune with your body, you will feel things more deeply, your awareness heightened, your sense of smell and taste is enhanced, you actually listen and hear, you feel more and there is a level of joy you experience that highlights your connection to your body.
At regular intervals during the day, take a moment to stop, remove distractions and take time away from other people to breathe deeply and listen into your own needs.
Listen to your Body, is a mantra that can be applied daily to really get in tune with your bodies needs so that you create habits that nurture and support your body to thrive.
Remember you only get one body and whilst you can get replacements parts and pieces, here and there and enhance this and that. The fundamentals are that this is it so, speak, listen and nurture your body with respect. It is your one and only.
“Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love”