Did you know that your body is always communicating with you… but that often you just aren’t listening?
Symptoms, gut feelings and even food cravings are what our very intelligent body uses to try to get our attention. In our frantic, busy, goal-oriented lives these messages are often ignored or pushed to the side to ‘deal with later.’
I forget to sometimes too… especially when I get BUSY! Being a Modern Mama, looking after everyone else’s needs first can sometime take over and your own body’s messages are not heard.
So then our body will start talking louder, until sometimes it has to seriously YELL to get our attention. By then, we often find we’re in the middle of some sort of total health crises (like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, utter burnout, Depression, Panic Attacks, Heart attack, Diabetes… you get the idea).
I have a question for you today: Is your body trying to tell YOU something?
For many of my clients, they have a feeling of tightness in their chest, or a foggy brain, a racing heart, cravings for sweet or salty foods (especially around 3pm), perhaps they feel a bit dizzy or shaky every now and then or they’ve started to put on weight or have changes to their menstrual cycle.
This is the body saying, “Um, honey? You’re pushing yourself waaay too hard at the moment. This isn’t good.”
Some women even have strange dreams where they are acting out what their body has been trying to get them to do in waking hours. One of my clients said she kept dreaming she was leading a yoga class – she wondered if she was supposed to give up her role as Director of HR and become a yogi… but after a bit of coaching we realised her body was begging her to deal with stress better (she ended up keeping the job she loved and joined a regular Mother and Kids weekend yoga class, rather than teaching one!)
If we can actually stop and listen to our body, we can begin to course correct. But how do we do that when we’re so used to pushing through? Does our head and our body even speak the same language any more?
How do you reconnect with your body and tune in to its messages?
Here are 3 simple things I do to tune back into my body. Hopefully they’ll help you to do the same:
- Embrace nature. Quick story: Back when I worked in PR and Events and was in the midst of a stressful time, I would get this super hippy urge to go hug a tree. Seriously, I did! Our office was super modern, all glass and steel and it was in a part of Sydney seriously lacking in trees. So I would find myself walking around the concrete landscape in my lunch break desperately seeking a tree touch. It’s about then that I knew I needed to make some changes, or risk turning completely loony! Scientists have done countless studies on the calming effect nature has on the human brain. We need to reconnect with green spaces and the ocean on a regular basis to help dispel all the stress that builds up and reconnect with our body. A simple way to do this is to take off your shoes and walk bare-foot on the grass or sand. It’s called ‘earthing’ and if you try it, you really will feel more grounded and less stressed. I try to do it at the end of each day, taking a moment to watch the wind in the trees while I stand in my backyard or at the beach.
- Move it! Exercising is another great way to get out of our heads and into our body. It’s really ‘moving meditation’. Do whatever type of movement really lights you up – be it running, a boxing class, yoga or just a gentle walk outside. Try to be an active family on the weekend and get out of the house early, hitting the park for a bike ride, the beach for a swim or take a hike in nature. The key is to include movement consistently in your day to shake off the stress and ease into your body again.
- Nourishment. Taking time out to nourish your body is key to reconnecting and listening to it’s secret messages. Nourishment can be anything that fills you up, whether it’s a carefully prepared healthy meal that you love (eaten slowly in a relaxed state!), a peaceful bath with a face mask, reading a good book in a quiet room, a funny movie and a good belly laugh… the list is endless. The key is that it’s something you feel good doing and at the end of it you feel… ‘nourished’.
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