The idea of “listening to your body” is one hardest concepts to master when it comes to living healthfully. We hear this phrase uttered all the time from doctors, trainers, and magazines. But what do these words really mean? We have become incredibly impatient creatures and instead taking a minute to stop and listen to what our bodies are telling us when we are tired, hungry, sick or anxious, our first response is, “Okay how can I fix this? What can I take?” We look for both problems and answers in the most convoluted places. “What’s wrong with me? Why am I like this? I must have a weak stomach. I think I’m carrying too much tension in my shoulders.” We just want to keep moving and get back to our normal routines.
This approach is greatly flawed. It is mind-blowing how once you turn your focus and reflection inward and listen to your body, how much you can truly understand about what is going on in your life and health. By nature a lot of us are rule followers. We look for guidelines from the outside. The only problem is, when it comes to health, the rules are different for each person. There are unique routines and limits and tricks that will bring each individual to their perfect picture of health and wellness. The only rule that remains steadfast for each and every person is that if you listen to yourself and the rules your body sets up for you, naturally, you will deepen your access to feeling good and wellness. Still, you have to know what to look for.
Below I have laid out Four Simple Ways To Listen To Your Body. As soon as I began following these signposts, I understood what it meant to truly be in my body. I knew myself in ways that I never did before and my stress was reduced with my increased understanding what was going on inside my mind and physical core. Our bodies are very wise; we must learn to trust them. However, like everything else in life – consistency is key. The simple tasks listed below need to be performed regularly until listening to yourself if your your instinct; until your way of life involves checking in to see what your body needs.
While you are eating, take a minute to ask yourself how hungry am I? Once you are finished with your meal or snack , note your level of fullness and separately check in with your level of satisfaction. Actively searching for these three feelings will help you tune into your physical needs and will also help you determine the right portions for the future. (For example, before I eat a meal I take a moment of gratitude and try to eat slowly. It really helps! J)
Create A Morning Routine
The morning is truly a special time of day (and also my favorite). Before the world comes at us and our hectic schedules begin is the perfect time to take a few moments to set your intentions for the day. It is also a great place to do something special for yourself. Do some stretches. Read one chapter in a good book while sipping your coffee. Drink a cool glass of water with lemon. Calming rituals provide your body and mind with comforting regularity. In blogs to come I will share my morning routine with you and how it has completely changed my life.
When you find yourself unable to connect with what your body needs, closing your eyes for just a few moments and taking deep long breaths will not only calm you down, but can also reveal answers to your questions. Meditation has proven benefits, both physically and mentally (and beyond that, too). However, beginning by just asking yourself a simple question, closing your eyes and taking five slow breaths can have a huge impact on getting to the bottom of what you need and want. I have found that this practice helps create a sense of control and a deep relationship with your body.
This is a simple one: Let go. That’s it! Let go of what you think you know and create what your body wants. Forget about the rules and tricks you have read in magazines and diet books, and allow your body the space to crave the movement and rest it wants and when it wants it, the nutrients it desires and in what amounts and combinations it does, and trust me – you will be on the truest path to wellness you can imagine.