Listening to your body – something we hear about all the time and know it’s something we need to be doing, but for some reason, most people have trouble actually doing it.
Why is that?
I started two new jobs recently, both working with children. Kids are funny. They do what they want, they don’t care about what people think, they are honest, and may not be very good at listening. However, in terms of listening to your body, kids know exactly how to do just that.
Think about it.
When a baby is hungry, they cry. They want food, and they want it now. Sure, maybe they ate something just 2 hours ago, but do they question it? Of course not. All they know is they are hungry and need to eat. They listen to their body, they feel their tummies rumbling, and they honor their need for food.
Why is that such a hard concept to grasp as we grow older? Maybe it’s our environment, comparisons, the media saying we all need X amount of calories, falling for restrictive diets, etc. Who knows. What I do know, is sadly most people have lost that natural ability to truly listen to their body.
Our bodies are smart. Like, really freaking smart. It’s like a little factory of a million different functions all working together to keep us alive. That’s your body’s job – to keep you alive. If something is off, it will tell you. Different things occur to give you a sign that something isn’t right.
Yawning? You could be tired, need to exercise, or not fueling enough.
Digestive issues? You could have a food allergy or sensitivity, you could be stressed, or something more serious.
Excessive soreness? You could be overtraining, not eating enough to recover, or over-worked yourself.
Absence of menstruation? You could be under-eating, over-exercising, (or both) or having hormonal issues.
Headache? You could have allergies, or be dehydrated.
Constipated? You may not be eating enough fiber, drinking enough water, or moving enough.
You get the point. Basically, your body’s number 1 job is to maintain homeostasis. When something is off and veering away from that homeostasis, it sends us a signal so that we can fix it.
The best thing to do is know your normal. Everyone is different, so what may be normal for one person, may not be for another. Get in tune with your body, and your normal, and just start listening. You’d be surprised at your ability to do so.
As with anything, it takes practice. Eventually, you will become very in-tune with your body. It may take a long time, and it may not, but it’s worth it.
Are you in-tune with your body?
Not as much as I’d like, I work on it every day!
Are you listening?