3 reasons to be in contact with your body to reach what you desire
Does it happen to you to be lost in your mind completely oblivious of the signals of your body?
I can very easily spend the whole morning (or the whole day) without eating, then I realize that I am starving and set myself ready to conquer the fridge. It also happens to me that I can be hours without a single second to pause and then, when I finally sit on the sofa, I fall fast asleep and my husband has to walk all the way to bed. Sometimes I do not even remember how I got to bed.
I , still too often, pay very little attention to the signals of my body and lose a lot of information coming from it, that can make my life easier.
Body and mind are interrelated
Ok, I might not be telling you anything new …. are you sure? Can you tell me where in your body you feel stress?, how does fear feel in your body? Joy, whereabout in your body do you feel it?
If you know how to answer this questions, Congratulations! A recent study about the relationship between our capacity for resilience and our ability to feel our body, suggests that people who are more skilled in recognizing the signals from the body feel less stress. This capacity can also be applied in different situations such as overeating, excessive anxiety or worry levels …. To be able to detect the subtle, and sometimes no so subtle, signals in our body, can help us make the necessary adjustments to manage our lives better. For example, I love traveling, but I have realized that having to do the check-in and print the tickets makes me very nervous until the task is finally fulfilled. I feel this worry as a tickling in my chest. Knowing that this tickling is caused by my worry about the tickets, allows me to feel better and not give it too much importance, and also to hurry and get my checking done as quickly as possible.
Our thoughts affect our body. Being able to recognize how our anxious thoughts reflect in our body through maybe an increased heartbeat, some crampy feelings in our gut … can help us modify our thoughts and put less pressure on our body.
3 reasons to pay attention to the body
If what I told you before has not convinced you, I am going to give you 3 good reasons why you should pay attention to the signals of your body.
1- You can control stress much better: If we are unconscious of the stress that we are putting up with (and this happens a lot) stress will feed itself all through the day. A cycle, similar to this one, takes place: somebody tells me something that produces anxiety in me, anxiety reflects in my body and in my general mood, as I am feeling bad, I create thoughts that make me feel worse in my mind and in my body … and this … makes the cycle start again and get bigger and bigger.
If we are able to recognize the stress signals in our body, for example a shrunken stomach, a breathing that gets stopped … We can stop the cycle of stress, readjust our thoughts and give a break to our body.
2- We can diminish the inflammation in our body: thoughts and emotions affect our body greatly. If we feel angry, stressed or very tired and inmune answer is triggered. It consists of a low degree, but persistent inflammation, that can make us feel bad and gain weight. The remedy for this is not to be more relaxed, it is difficult to relax in a stressful situation. It is more useful to regain conscience of the reactions that we are experimenting in our body and our mind and be able to chose our reactions. Imagine for example that you are trapped in a traffic jam, this can produce quite a lot of stress. In this situation you can be aware of your angry thoughts, the feeling in your body, your tight stomach … And consciously decide that as you cannot help being in the car, you are going to use the time to call a friend, dictate something on your stomach … then check again how you are feeling in your mind and body. The fact is the same, you are in a traffic jam, but the capacity to chose our reaction towards it … changes our mind and body and therefore lowers stress and inflammation.
Sure being able to stop and chose is not an easy thing … the daily practice of meditation, even for a short time, helps greatly
3- We can take better care of our body: if little by little we can start to understand the signals our body gives us, we can give a better answer to our own needs. For example, do you know how and where you feel hunger in your body? Have you ever tried not eating for some hours in order to be conscious of these signals of hunger? Getting to know them can make help you make the difference between real hunger and eating out of boredom, anxiety or any other emotion.
A useful exercise to learn to listen to your body
Our body is like a small kid. If you have been ignoring it for years expecting it to respond quickly to your request is not very realistic. We do not even know how to communicate with it. You will have to be patient and convince your body little by little that you are worth of trust.
Listen to it everyday in small things and you will realize that the information becomes easier to understand.
To begin with I suggest 2 exercises:
- You can use a brief body scan, it lasts only 4 minutes and you can do it either sitting or lying. It will help you feel your body in a more conscious way.
- A sensory walk: go for a 20 minute walk around a place you like. Pay attention to your senses: what can you smell? what sounds can you hear? any feeling in your skin?, any taste in your mouth? Pay also attention to your feeings, what are you feeling now?, can you place these feelings in any place in your body?. You can also do this exercise at any moment when you are alone and can pay attention, maybe went you go to work o come back from work, when you go to pick the kids up … Some surroundings will feel better than others, but they are all an opportunity to practice.
Our body is like a computer, a biological computer of yet unknown power.
It has very valuable information for us, the more we connect with it, the easier life will be for us …. so just enjoy the experience of reconnecting with your body!!!
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