Listening to Your Body

In my last post I mentioned this idea of “listening to your body” and I thought I would expand on it because it’s important.

You can listen to your body in numerous ways. However, I’m going to talk about your physical body because a lot of it will tie into the other ways you can be in tune with the rest of your body, like your mental and emotional state, along with your spiritual.

A good question to start with is this: Who or what are you listening to?

In life we are told to do so many things: eat these foods and don’t eat those, buy this product because it will make you feel sexier, you should work out everyday and wear more makeup, the younger you are the older you should look & the older you get the younger you should look.

There are a lot of shoulds in this world and not enough…well, things and people telling you that you are good, that you are enough.

Personally, there are days when I wake up and think, “I should be doing…” or “I should not…” These shoulds and should nots negatively affect who we are because they make us believe that who we are, and therefore what we do, since what we do stems from who we are, is not good enough or is simply wrong.

Choosing not to listening to media and other voices in this world is a process, and choosing to listen to your heart, your mind, and your body puts all the “shoulds” and “should nots” to shame and strengthens what you believe about yourself and the world.

Simply put, listening to your body sometimes means not working out on a given day because you are physically exhausted; it means saying no to extra meetings in order to spend time at home with those you love; it means eating whole and healthy foods because that is what nourishes your body; and it can also mean saying no to buying a new shirt simply because you know that it won’t satisfy you.

Listening to your body is not meant to make your life boring and stop you from doing what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at. It’s for your own health and stability as an individual and therefore gives you the ability to be healthy and stable for others.

Saying no is one of life’s greatest lessons. And saying no to something always means saying yes to something else. For example, saying no to your normal daily workout might mean saying yes to sleeping in an extra hour because your body needs it; saying no to buying this product that will apparently make you “fill in the blank” means saying yes to spending your money in a different and hopefully healthier way; saying no to eating just for pleasure means saying yes to eating healthy, which in the long run, is better for your heart and body; saying no to working more hours means saying yes to making more sweet memories with the ones you love and the ones who love you.

In my last post, Finding Balance, I mentioned that balancing ones life looks different for everyone, and that’s the beauty of it. There are no perfect steps to creating balance and listening to your body, there aren’t rules and it’s not a race. It’s simply a process, a process of decisions made by stopping, listening, reflecting and growing. Your body is capable to protect you, heal you, give you life, support and nourish you. Let it do those things by listening to it and taking care of it.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed because I try to do everything at once, but what I’m learning is that simply changing one or two aspects of my life can make a huge difference. These aspects are not big things, like my job, where I’m living or who my friends are, although it isn’t a bad idea to reflect on these either; the aspects I’m talking about are: how well I am doing my job, how well I’m balancing work and play, reflecting on the health of my marriage and other friendships, and figuring out what is best for my body in this given season. Small changes make the greatest difference.

My challenge to you is to look over this upcoming week and decide where it would be best to say no to one specific thing. Maybe it’s an early morning workout or maybe it’s staying late at work in hopes to get ahead. Whatever choice you make, it’ll be a good choice. There is no shame in saying no, there’s only beautiful worth of being in tune with your heart, mind and body.

Start small & start steady. Ask yourself the questions I’ve listed below and begin to notice the changes within yourself and how you interact with the world:

  1. Who or what am I currently listening to?
  2. What is one thing this week I can say no to in order to say yes to something else?
    1. What emotions come about from saying no: shame, relief, anxiety, excitement? What about from saying yes?
  3. What part of my heart, mind, and body can I be more in tune with?
    1. What is one step I can take towards listening better?

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