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Wellness Weekly: Listen to Your Body

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

Have you ever woken up and immediately felt tired even though you got your full 8 hours? Has there ever been a day where you were famished even though you ate everything you were “supposed to”?

What did you do in that situation? Talk about yourself negatively and power through your day? Worry that there was something wrong with you?

Well, I can safely say that most of the time, there’s nothing wrong with you and you certainly don’t deserve negativity from yourself (ever!). Your body was just trying to communicate with you!

Our bodies communicate with us so often- more than we often realize in our adult lives. Why? Because we stop listening as we get older…

When we were children, we listened to our bodies as much as possible- we’d ask for a snack when we were hungry, sleep at nap time if we were tired, and, I don’t know about you, but I definitely communicated my feelings and wants as they arose.

However, as we get older, we let external sources mold how we behave internally. We’re shamed for having needs outside of the “norm” (whatever that looks like) and often allow these experiences to impact how we receive communication from our bodies.

Fortunately, though our bodies might get more quiet, they’re always communicating their wants and needs to some degree.

So- it’s time to stop shaming our bodies for needing more and start listening!

(Notice how I said “listen” and not “do”. This is the critical piece that will allow us to keep striving towards our goals without plowing straight into a wall of burnout, imposter syndrome, and defeat.)

But how do we go about listening after stifling our inner whispers for so long?

Don’t worry- it’s not as hard as you may think. We’re literally programmed to do it!

Here’s how to get started:

Next time you notice your mood shift, ask yourself a couple of questions, like…

  • Are all of my physical needs met at the moment (food, active rest, passive rest, hydration, movement, etc.)?

    • If not, what need(s) are not currently being met?

      • BAM! There’s your answer- Now go take care of your physical needs!

  • Are all of my mental needs met at the moment (comfort in a situation, self-care, positive thoughts, etc.)?

    • If not, what need(s) are not currently being met?

      • Same deal as before- Find a way to take care of these needs!

These questions may seem simple, but by taking the time to truly sit with yourself and listen to the answer you receive from your body, you’re opening yourself up to a sure-fire way to infuse more wellness into your day.

Now, as I mentioned before, listening and not doing is the key to ensuring we can keep making progress towards our goals in a sustainable way.

For example, our body may tell us that it wants a whole pint of “Oat of this Swirled” Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (which is ELITE). Should we listen to this inner whisper if we’re on a fitness journey? Probably not…

However, does this mean we should deprive ourselves of all the “unhealthy” joys in this life? Absolutely not!

Listening to our bodies follows the same principle that most things in life do: balance. In order to live your most-well life, you’ve got to strike a balance between “healthy” and “unhealthy,” “good” and “bad,”etc. because without the “bad,” there would be no “good.”

So, going back to the “Oat of this Swirled” ice cream- what should you do? Maybe you take a cup instead of a pint, eat the whole pint as a treat (not something that happens consistently), or save the treat for another time.

How do you get to an answer? That’s where your connection to your body comes in!

Use these guiding questions to lead you to an answer:

  • How bad do you want it?

  • Is there an alternative that would curb your craving?

  • When’s the last time you treated yourself?

Overall, listening to your body is a vital skill many of us have lost touch with. And once we get it back, it’s a whole lot easier to know how to make ourselves feel our best so we can do our best in our daily lives. 💛

So, I’ll leave you with a vital question:

How are you going to get in tune with your body this week?

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