21 Jun 2011
Sometimes our mind doesn’t want to acknowledge what our body is telling us. For example:
- When we have a bout of heartburn, we blame what we ate rather than our overindulging behavior.
- Instead of taking a nap when we’re tired, we load up on the caffeine and sugary snacks for an energy boost.
- When we’re developing shin splints or swollen knees, we tough it out instead of cutting back or trying an exercise routine that is less physically stressful.
Many of us switch into mind-over-body mode because we tell ourselves that it’s not convenient to listen to our body’s wisdom. After all, who has a boss who’ll let us take a nap on the job? And face it, it’s hard to find time to get a therapeutic massage when you’re busy with work and family obligations.
However, when we ignore our body’s signals for long periods of time, we pay for it. In my case, when I’m tired I overeat, and when I overeat I gain weight. Also, when I’m tired I find it much harder to efficiently tackle my work. Plus, I have much less patience with my family when I’m exhausted.
Are you someone who ignores your body’s wisdom after feeling sick or “off” when we eat certain foods? Well, if you’re gluten intolerant or have celiac disease, you may cause more damage to your intestinal track if you ignore your body’s signals when you eat foods containing gluten.
It’s the same with exercise. Rather than switching to a low impact exercise routine after you develop soreness and pain, you may end up in the doctor’s office scheduling knee surgery instead.
Try listening to your body
Recently, I read an article about Brian Ingle, an osteopath, former yoga teacher and somatic movement educator. He said, “To use our body wisdom, we have to come into our first person experience of our bodies and, with that, our intuition, self-knowing, self-healing and autonomy will reveal itself.”
1. Find some quiet time in your daily routine and check in with your body. How’s your back and shoulders doing after sitting at your desk all day? How does your tummy feel after having lunch and dinner? Are you “regular” or has it been a few days? How many times did you hit the snooze button this morning?
2. If things are off, make a plan and write it down. What are your action items to feeling better? Maybe it’s going to bed 30 minutes later or arranging for your spouse to be home a little earlier so you can schedule a massage in the evening.
3. You should also add some healthy foods to your grocery list and make sure a few of them have probiotics or fiber so you’re getting your system moving regularly. (Attune Foods chocolate probiotic bars and some Erewhon cereals are smart choices for this!)
4. While you’re at it, take the time to schedule a meeting with a personal trainer to work on your fitness routine or a nutritionist to go over your diet.
5. Don’t forget to schedule some routine body maintenance, too, like a teeth cleaning, yearly check up or even the colonoscopy or mammogram you’ve been avoiding.
It’s all about giving yourself permission to listen to your body’s wisdom. What’s your body telling you?
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