People tend to live fast nowadays, and, as a result, they don’t take proper care of themselves. Because of the lack of time, they eat processed foods, don’t drink enough water, and don’t exercise enough.
Consequences are not the same for everyone, but each person can learn to listen to their body and identify various signals it sends whenever there is a problem. You really can improve the quality of your life by merely answering your body’s demands.
But what does it mean to listen to your body? How can you become more aware and learn to read the signs your body gives you? Below, you will find some helpful instructions.
The Body Always Gives You a Sign
How many times have you suffered from a terrible headache or a stomachache, or experienced an irresistible craving for sweets during a stressful period? We have all been there. And we all often misinterpret or ignore these signs.
But this may actually be your body’s way of telling you that there is a problem or a deficiency. For example, frequent headaches or digestive system problems are often results of prolonged stress or anxiety. Also, if you feel constantly tired, it may be a sign of an increased adrenaline level. How can I feel fatigue because of adrenaline, you may ask. Well, your body may indeed have problems producing enough cortisol when you’re stressed out, which will eventually lead to chronic fatigue.
When you suddenly crave sweets or fast foods, it may mean that you lack energy or have some mineral and microelement deficiencies. In both cases, it is best to contact a specialist (ideally your GP) in order to confirm the diagnosis and introduce appropriate solutions.
And it is only the beginning of the long list of signs your body gives you daily.
How to Become More Body-Aware?
Listening to your body might seem easy (after all, this is something you actually feel), but how can you practice to make sure you get it right? There are some ways, of course, but the gist is to become more body-aware and pay attention to even the smallest changes you notice in your overall well-being.
To begin with, you need to get to know your body. Observe it carefully and take some notes – you can even start a journal for this purpose. How does it behave in the mornings? And how do you feel in the evenings? What are your typical reactions after working out, and how do you respond to stress?
When you pay attention to your body’s reactions in various situations, you can easily predict them and prepare. For example, if you know that you’re always thirsty just after waking up, you’ll put a water bottle on your bedside table. When you realize that your body prefers working out in the evenings, you’ll plan your training for this time of the day.
These observations may seem trivial, but they may be really helpful in establishing the most suitable daily routine. Then, you will be able to quickly spot any abnormalities.
Listening to Your Body – Techniques
Once you are familiar with your body’s reactions, you may start with further exercises to develop effective communication with your organism. Two of the best techniques include practicing mindfulness and self-trust.
Mindfulness is a philosophy of ‘being here and now,’ focusing on the stimuli from the outside and inside your body, living the moment, appreciating the present. How can it be useful in the context of increasing contact with the body?
If you want to become more aware in any way, mindfulness can be a great way to do it. Practice makes perfect, so make sure to do it every day – sit down, close your eyes, and focus on your thoughts, on all the stimuli, such as the taste of the food you’re eating, the tone of music you’re listening to, the breeze of the wind. Try to notice how your body reacts to these things – positively, negatively, or neutrally.
There are various methods of practicing mindfulness, and they all may be incredibly helpful in establishing communication with your own body. To read more about the mindfulness exercises, click here.
Self-trust is another vital aspect of living in harmony with your body. You can use this trust to organize your everyday life and making the best possible decisions.
Trusting your body is listening to it – being aware that the signs it gives are real. For instance, if you feel nauseous when you think of mountain climbing or sailing, you probably should avoid it. Don’t underestimate these signs – accept them and live by them.
Doing anything just for the sake of it and ignoring the unpleasant symptoms may have serious mental and physical consequences.
Since you can’t change your organism entirely, it is best to accept it and try living in harmony with all of its parts. It is crucial to know your body, be able to identify its needs, and read the signs it sends.
At first, it may seem difficult to catch the right rhythm and be insightful, but after some time, it will become just as natural as brushing your teeth or visiting your doctor. Your body is sure to let you know as soon as something is wrong, whether physically or mentally. That’s why you should trust it and respond to these alerts once they appear, and before it gets any worse.