Listening to your body is a skill that takes time and practice. But it’s one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Think about it: when was the last time you really listened to your body? When did you feel like you were truly in tune with what it was telling you?
Sometimes, we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives that we forget to listen to our bodies. We’re all guilty of neglecting our health, whether it’s because we skip meals or don’t get enough sleep or exercise. But this kind of neglect can have serious consequences on your overall wellness—and it can even affect the quality of your daily life.
The more in touch with your body, the more likely it will be able to tell if there’s something wrong. And if there is something wrong, listening can help you catch it early on, before it becomes something more serious.
A lot has been published about the need for good sleep and there’s a strong reason for this. We are human beings who need to sleep. It’s when our bodies process the day. Our hormones rebalance. The digestive system gets to work. Our circulatory system regulates etc etc. Without regular sound sleep, you’re putting yourself and your life at a constant disadvantage from processing its basic needs; which will manifest in dis-ease, eventually. So listen to your body when it tells you its tired. That’s your cue to take rest.
Listen for hunger cues. Eat when you’re hungry rather than trying to fit 3 square meals into your day. It’s not necessary for everyone to eat three meals a day. Perhaps your body needs less but unless you listen to your body, you won’t know and you’ll either over-eat or under-eat. This causes the obvious problems we know about but also affects how productive your body is throughout the day. So fuel it well.
Listen for thirst cues. You might have heard that most times when you feel hungry it’s actually thirst. We underestimate how important it is to drink water but every cell in our body needs it. It’s a basic necessity. We can go without food for a length of time but not water. That simple fact should tell you that you need to drink more. Spice it up with flavour if you want, get a great bottle. Set milestones or goals for upping your intake and watch how much better you feel each day.
Listen for fatigue cues by exercising regularly. Walking is my go-to for anyone who fears exercise. Just walk until you’re ready to come home. Walk in your lunch break. Take a walk in the morning or after dinner. Make it normal to walk every single day and you’ll feel those benefits within a week! I guarantee it!
We all know that listening to your body is important, but we don’t always practice it. And when we do, it’s often in a way that’s counterproductive—like when you’re stressed out and eat an entire tin of biscuits instead of taking a walk around the block.
But if you start paying attention to what your body is telling you, you’ll learn so much about yourself. You’ll know what foods make you feel energised or sleepy, and how much sleep is enough for your body. You’ll even be able to tell when you’re coming down with something before it gets too serious or painful—and take steps to prevent it from getting worse.
It can be hard to listen to our bodies when we’re busy with other things, but it’s worth the effort: knowing our bodies better will help us live longer, healthier lives!
I know these tips might sound very basic and that you’ve heard them a million times before so I’ll just ask you this, why are you reading this post? If you’re doing all of these ‘basic’ things regularly, you won’t be looking for new answers to the same questions.
Puja McClymont – certified coach, wisdom teacher, speaker and host of the SELF Care 101 podcast.
As a life and leadership coach, I help mission-driven individuals who are seeking direction, to gain clarity, by expanding their inner awareness through the ancient wisdom teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga; so that they can lead more purposeful and fulfilling lives.
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