Have you ever been told to listen to your body? We’re often told to listen to our bodies when we’re exercising or otherwise pushing ourselves harder than usual. We’re told to listen to our bodies so that we know when to stop, or when we need to take a break. But, it’s not something that many of us are very good at.
Our bodies can’t speak independently, they can’t scream at us when they need a break, and most of us are so used to feeling tired or not quite right, that we struggle to notice when they are telling us that something is wrong.
But, listening to your body is important. Your body is giving you little clues and hints of what is to come all of the time. It might be warning you of hearing loss so that you can learn more about it before it’s too late. It might be telling you that you are about to become stressed out, or that something needs to be checked out. It might just be telling you to take it easy. But, this can only help you if you learn to listen.
Understand Your Normal
To be able to listen to your body, you need a base to compare it to. You need to know how it feels and how you respond when everything is okay. Think about how you feel when you are on holiday. When you are getting plenty of rest, you are eating well, sleeping a lot and don’t have any stress or worry. This is how you want to feel all of the time.
Make Time to Listen
You won’t hear what your body is trying to tell you if you are always in a hurry. If your brain is filled with other things, you won’t be able to hear your body over the cacophony. Start making time to listen. Get into the habit of checking in. You might want to spend a few minutes quietly thinking about how your body is filling every day before bed. You might also notice aches and pains if you practice yoga, or meditate.
Look for Subtle Signs
Not everything that your body has got to say will come out as a great big warning. Often, it’s a series of small changes and occasional niggles that start to add up to something more worrying. But, these tiny changes are often the ones that we ignore. Listen to everything that your body has got to say, no matter how subtle.
Introduce Changes Gradually
Hearing your body isn’t always the same as understanding it. Something is wrong, or it doesn’t like something, but what? If you want a lot of changes to your lifestyle, such as big diet adjustments, or different exercises, you won’t know what is working and what isn’t. Introduce changes slowly, and give them time to take effect, before asking your body what it thinks.
Listening to your body should be a positive thing. It should help you to make positive changes and get help when you need it. This means that you need to be positive. You need to accept your body as it is, without judgement or criticism.