Your Body Talks

The Body - Your Body Talks

 

Do you ever hear someone talking and, even though you are listening to them, find yourself wondering what exactly they are saying? Do you ever feel like that with your body? If so, it is probably due to lack of awareness. Your body is actually quite the chatterbox. It has a lot of important things to say, but many of us need to better ourselves in the three following areas: listening, hearing, and responding to properly understand and interpret what it is our bodies are talking about…

Feeling disconnected from the body you live in can be a very discouraging feeling. It can also make life feel awkward – like living in a house with roomies you do not know. Although a lot of people are open to coexisting with people they are not all too well acquainted with, there are many people who would find it very uncomfortable. And, the people who are open to it are usually still legitimately cautious and reserved at first until they get to know the person better. Well, similarly, if you are walking around in a body you are not very well acquainted with – meaning you are not sure how to make it happy and healthy – you will likely have that awkwardness on a deep, internal level.

Deepak Chopra, an author of over 50 books on topics like health and success, says, “A bad body image is the chief source of shame and disappointment for many women in particular.” Is it true for you that your body doesn’t feel like your guide and friend, but maybe instead your mortal enemy that hates you and is plotting against your social life? Well, the latter is not the case. The misunderstanding between you and your body is a lack of awareness – on your part. Awareness has an incredible amount of power. It is the invisible, silent agent that tunes into every cell and lets your body know what your mind is thinking. At the same time, it sends feedback from the body so that the mind feels supported and understood.

Our bodies are neither shy about letting us know nor ignorant about it if something is bothering them – in fact, they are very involved in and conscious of our lives. Chopra notes, “You cannot have a single thought, sensation, or feeling without the body. All experience has a physical component.” Just as our bodies have so many different ways of sensing, they have several different ways of communicating if they are happy or unhappy. Unfortunately, there is a large portion of people today that have a severe lack of awareness of their bodies. To be able to listen to your body, you have to be able to pay attention to and know what it is saying. To be able to hear your body, you have to be able to listen and comprehensively understand what it is saying. And, lastly, to be able to respond to what you have heard your body say, you need to actively interpret and follow through with what it is saying it needs – not simply ignore it.

So, how do you increase your awareness? Well, for starters, you can focus on the “why” behind an impulse, desire, or craving. As we mentioned before, your brain may be misperceiving what your body really wants. At this point, you might be wishing there was some kind of body to brain dictionary translator or code decipherer you could use. Well, all bodies are a little different and in time you will come to learn your idiosyncrasies. In the meantime, however, we can give you some basic signals to watch for – with some input from Chopra.
Basic signals your body sends you:

  1. Yes to balance, no to imbalance.
  2. Yes to moderation, no to excess amounts.
  3. Yes to regular activity routine, no to erratic schedules.
  4. Yes to deep rest at regular intervals, no to lack of sleep.
  5. Yes to being in your comfort zone, no to constant stress.

Now, a person could read this and misinterpret that if they have an urge for chocolate or beer that they should get it because they listen, hear, and respond. Well, don’t get too excited just yet, because that is not what we’re saying. Instead, when you have a craving – especially one that is either 1) unhealthy (physically, mentally, or otherwise) or 2) makes someone else uncomfortable (physically, mentally, or otherwise) – you need to stop and ask yourself where the craving is coming from.

Could it be that your body is hungry and that your brain just inserts a food it knows you will eat? Or could it be that your body is feeling stressed and your brain knows you grab a cold one when you feel anxious? Force yourself to stop when you feel your impulses, cravings, and desires. Ask yourself where the root of them is coming from. You might be surprised to find out that your body actually wants something else than what your brain misperceives it is asking for. The more aware we are of our bodies and what they want, the less likely we are to have these kinds of confusing miscommunications.

This might make you wonder how exactly to turn listening into hearing. After all, who wants the misunderstandings to be their fault? Here are some basic elements you can look to in order to enhance your receiving end of your body’s communiqué.
Basic elements of turning listening into hearing:

  1. Feel what you feel (don’t deny what’s really going on by trying to sugarcoat it or convince yourself it’s not what you’re really feeling)
  2. Accept what you feel (don’t judge yourself for feeling what you’re feeling – remember you are getting to the source so you can better understand what’s going on)
  3. Be open to your body (your body is always talking – be willing to stop and listen to it)
  4. Trust your body (your entire body – every cell – is on your side, your body wants you to do what’s best for both of you)
  5. Value spontaneity (whether due to time, exposure, or knowledge, things change – emotions, cells, and the brain – do not be afraid of these changes)
  6. Enjoy what your body wants to do (don’t try and make your body do what it wasn’t made to do – sleep when you’re tired and allocate time in your day to be active too)

One thing very key to remember is that when there is harmony within the body, it feels happy and well. When the body is in disharmony, it is sure to let you know by signs like anxiety, depression, discomfort, general illness, and pain. Unhappiness is a form of feedback. It should not be a huge discouragement to us, but a flag or a caution sign for us to slow down and evaluate what is going on that might be producing such results.

For instance, psychological issues can manifest themselves in the body – after all, the mind, body, and soul are interconnected. Ever heard the saying, “The issues are in the tissues,” used? Well, if not, you have now. Basically what this means is that issues such as anger, depression, general anxiety, hostility, and neurosis are not “all in your head.” They have a correlate in the brain – a place where they start from that directly results in feelings. Then, via the central nervous system, the brain makes sure every cell in the body is aware that there is a problem going on.

By now you are probably trying to determine how aware you are and how well you are doing at listening to your body, hearing what it’s saying, and then responding as it needs. To help you troubleshoot this, here are some questions you can ask yourself to get a rough idea of maybe where you are at in the awareness department.

  1. How often do you ignore basic needs?
  2. Do you rest when you are tired?
  3. How soon do you notice you aren’t feeling well?
  4. Do you get as much sleep as you need?
  5. Do you eat when you are hungry, and stop eating when you’ve had enough?
  6. Do you drink when you are thirsty?
  7. Do you even notice when you are hungry, thirsty, or have had enough?

It doesn’t matter if your body is older, a bit out of shape, or not the weight you would like. It still can perform as your guide and friend if you let it. Increase your awareness by focusing on what the pushing force behind your impulses, urges, and cravings is. Once you get to know your body better, your mind will be more at ease and you will most likely feel better. It can take some time – as it does getting to know anyone or anything, but it’s completely worth it! Nobody wants to feel like they are permanently attached to a stranger (your body) – and you shouldn’t have to! Get rid of that awkward, disconnected feeling you have towards your body and the discouragement that comes from it.

Remember, your body is your ally. Be aware of your body and practice listening to it, hearing what it’s saying, and responding to its needs in reasonable, practical ways. You won’t be sorry!

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