You may have heard before the saying, “listen to your body” and wondered what does that really mean? Let’s be honest, a majority of us have a difficult time listening to others and even ourselves. We may have set New Year resolutions to be more mindful or open minded and yet we tend unaware of what that really consists of. Listening to your body is very important when it comes to making healthier choices towards fitness, food, rest, work, and travel.
Our bodies communicate with us ALL THE TIME! It tells us when we’re hungry, tired, stressed, and energized (etc.). The key to listening is knowing how to decode the messages and looking for the cues. For many who work out daily will find themselves more aware of their body’s needs, they have established a deeper connection with themselves. Fitness connects the bones, muscles, heart, and mind all together.
The most important factor of listening to your body is to LISTEN! I recently was feeling worn down and my body was lacking any spark of energy. I wanted to push myself to work out even though my body was telling me to rest. I was causing my body to feel guilty of wanting to rest because I saw it as a sign that I was being lazy. I decided to take a moment to close my eyes and really feel what my body was trying to tell me. Soon after I took a 4 hour nap, waking up to find my body feeling refreshed and grateful.
How to Connect With the Body
These tips will help establish a stronger mindfulness towards what your body needs.
- Exercise – my favorite form of body and mind connection is yoga. By experimenting with yoga daily you will find yourself at ease and more aware of your inner/outer surroundings. Any form of exercise will allow you to strengthen your self-love and become in-tune with how your body works.
- Meditation – just simply close your eyes and breathe. I would suggest laying down and placing your hand on your belly and the other on your heart, close your eyes, and as you inhale you will feel your body’s tension. Exhale and bring your focus to the part of your body that is bringing you the most pain, discomfort, or calling for attention. Acknowledge the body and send it love, during the day make sure you make choices that benefit that certain area of the body that asked for your mindfulness.
- Sleep – one of my favorite mantras is, “with growth, there is rest.” Taking time to go to bed early or even take a nap in the afternoon will do wonders for how your body functions and communicates with you. Sleep allows your body to repair and reboot with more awareness and energy. I love taking naps on Sunday afternoons, it allows me to thank my body for all it’s done for me.
- Healthy Cravings – you already know based on the EFY Philosophy, that I hate the saying, “guilty pleasures.” I think that you shouldn’t restrict your body from certain foods, I just believe you should makes them healthier. I recently have become obsessed with baking, mostly due to The British Baking Show on PBS. I made sweet corn bread and Earl Grey cake adding in coconut milk, coconut oil, fair trade sugar, and flax meal.. It’s all about making smarter choices,
instead of chips make kale chips, and instead of fries make baked potato slices with extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. Don’t ignore your body’s desire to have savory and sweet treats, create foods that are indulgently healthy.