How to listen to your body
So how do we listen to our body? Lots of ‘health gurus’ say this but the question is what does this even mean?
Let alone how do you do it?
OK so lets focus on some areas you can learn to ‘listen to your body’. Sleep. Food. Exercise.
Your body is awesome. It is amazing we are even here, with the biology within all of us and how our body even functions day to day is nothing short of a miracle. The human body has the ability to heal, it keeps us alive even when we sleep and it even continues to work when we feed and treat it like a trash can.
Our body knows what it wants. However, we are so busy on this treadmill of life, and we just eat without being aware of what we are doing that its just second nature, we don’t even think about what we do or eat these days. Our bodies will function and we take it for granted, and especially if we are well, why do we need to give it a second thought right?
Well maybe not. We know all too well, our bodies can give up on us. We can get diagnosed with a serious illness or maybe it is general fatigue or bloating or aches and pains, well maybe it is time for you to ‘listen to your body’ and to what it really wants and needs.
SLEEP: This is an easy one right. Sleep. Our body wants sleep and it is so important. I aim for 9 hours per night, thats how I work best. I aim to be in bed by 10pm and wake about 7-8am. We all have busy lives but if we are falling asleep on the sofa at the end of the day, go to bed! If you can and your tired, go to bed at 8 or 9pm, why are you fighting your body? It is wanting sleep! Sometimes it is good to sleep till 11am on a weekend! Your body wants that sleep, let it have it. This doesn’t mean folks, that we never get out of bed and our alarm goes off and we don’t want to get up so we say “Oh well Rebecca says listen to your body so I’ll stay in bed and call in sick” come on, maybe not we all have responsibilities.
FOOD: Food. Well this is a biggie. A typical example of listening to your body with food are the seasons, we enjoy salads in the summer, we feel naturally drawn to stews in the winter. We are all listening to our bodies with the change in seasons, great, our bodies thank us. Sometimes we fancy only a light meal, thats ok. Sometimes we want to drink a lot of water one day, do it. Sometimes we fancy some chocolate, do it. Again this is not a get out clause to eat pizza every day, if you say your body wants pizza everyday I may argue your not really listening to your body. Do you really want that food or is it just habit? Do you really need a dessert or is it habit? Do you really need coffee to wake you up or is it just what you have done for years? We fall into habits, some are unique to us, some are typically British, some fit in with society, but watch your habits and figure it out, is it needed or is it routine?
Our bodies want veg, salads, beautiful fish, lots of fresh water. When we eat rubbish food we feel rubbish. A prime example is this week I don’t know, I just wasn’t feeling like eating meat, so I have been eating alot of salmon and beans and tons of veggies and my body has said thanks for that. It’s just about feeling what do you want, and how much do you want? We have been programmed as a child to finish all the food on our plate or it is rude or what about the starving children in Africa. Well we are adults now and we know both those arguments are flawed, yet it doesn’t stop us eating until we can burst and it’s uncomfortable otherwise its ‘rude’. Eat until your full. Eat what you know to be a normal amount. Don’t overeat. The children in Africa are starving, I have met them, but you finishing your food isn’t helping them, heck send them money if you want to help.
Be in tune people with your body and listen to what it wants and the things that will nourish it.
EXERCISE: Your going to the gym 3-4 times per week for an hour? You hate it? Like literally hate it? How is that listening to your body? Your actually doing yourself a disservice by doing that, the negative emotions you are feeling because you are forcing yourself to a gym every other day and dreading it. Take the dog for a stroll, get on youtube and do a yoga class, go for a cycle, do what you want to do! Exercise absolutely, but don’t hate it, find something you love to do. Join a class maybe.
I whole heartedly believe if you listen to your body on sleep, food and exercise things will fall into place. Stop putting ‘rules’ onto things and just do what feels right. Skip the gym and go to bed early and see how you feel the day after!
If you eat well, exercise how you like and sleep more trust me, you will feel better and be a better person. Try it for a week and let me know how you feel.