Listening to your body sounds like such a strange thing, but it’s nothing complex, and it’s nothing that you need particular skill to be able to do. All it is is the ability to listen in toto how your body communicates with you. Your body constantly sends you signs and messages in the form of hunger, thirst, pain, pleasure, desire, sickness, all of your emotions, and even the urge to go to the toilet. Some messages make you feel good, while others make you feel terrible, but that doesn’t mean the message itself is either good or harmful. Your body’s signals to you are always neutral; they are just information that your body sends to you. And they should be listened to.
The problem is, we have such a strong aversion to feeling uncomfortable in our society that our initial instinct is typically to conceal or dismiss unpleasant emotions as soon as possible. Think of how we reach for food when we are hungry, attempt to cheer up a sad friend immediately, or binge on Netflix to distract ourselves from our worry and loneliness, for example. Unfortunately, when you fall into the practice of ignoring your body’s signals, you lose out on what those messages were trying to tell you.
Unfortunately, people seldom look for answers to signals that aren’t loud and obvious, like pain would be. Society has conditioned us to believe that it is normal for our bodies to feel broken most of the time. The vast majority of people suffer from chronic tiredness, headaches, low back pain, anxiety, or poor digestion. They repress and disregard their body’s signals to the best of their ability, never pausing to consider what the message is trying to teach them.
The reality is that humans are designed to feel much more healthy and vital than most people do today. To get to this level, you need to listen to your body and do what it needs you to do. Read on to find out more and understand the benefits of really taking notice of your own body.
Photo by Brock Wegner on Unsplash
You’ll Feel Better Around Food
Many people are very confused when it comes to food. Years of eating the wrong things, eating too much or too little, or constantly dieting, could well mean that their hunger and fullness signals aren’t working in the way they should. Some people never really know if they are actually hungry, full, or perfectly all right.
As you would expect, being able to hear your body tell you that it’s hungry or full and for you to understand what this means makes it much simpler to determine when to eat and when to stop. It also makes deciding what to eat simpler. Imagine understanding the difference between true cravings and emotional/boredom desires and being able to choose which ones to act on. It would help to keep your weight in check and your health in balance.
Putting in the effort to hear and comprehend your body’s signals about food and eating can make it simpler to lose and maintain weight, remove guilt from the eating equation, and eliminate chronic tension surrounding food. Instead of attempting to follow a random set of rules and limitations, the question becomes simple; what would make my body feel good?
You’ll Have Less Pain
Many people sit at their computers all day and only move when they exercise. Or even if they exercise. It is difficult to fully erase the physical stress of such a lifestyle, but by listening to your body, you can minimize the harm that it’s causing. Lower back discomfort, for example, is not necessarily a life sentence. It is often simply a signal that something needs to be investigated and changed. Changing the way you sit, stand, walk, sleep, breathe, or train is often required. If you have been involved in an accident that needed professional help from both medical professionals and Leinart Law, then you should listen to what your body tells you about your injury; are you healing, or are things getting worse?
Additionally, when you improve your awareness and begin to investigate yourself, you will be less likely to sustain an injury in the future. Listening to how your body feels in each posture, during each movement, and when in each different position can help you move better, grow stronger, and become generally safer when doing anything at all.
When you understand the difference between ‘good pain’ and ‘bad pain,’ you’ll know when to safely push yourself at the gym and when to back off a little so as not to sustain any injuries.
What does it feel like when your body wants to relax compared to when it wants to work out? What does it feel like for your glutes to operate correctly in a squat, as opposed to your low back or hip flexors doing the majority of the work? Tuning into your body provides you with more information to work with, resulting in greater overall durability and stronger muscles. This translates into better, quicker, and safer outcomes in the gym.
In other words, just by doing what your body tells you, you can find the best routes to a fitter you and see results much faster than if you continue to fight against whatever it is your body really needs.
When you need to slow down and relax, your body will tell you, typically in the form of subtle signs like fatigue and flare ups of previous chronic problems. If you ignore such signals, they will get ‘louder’ in the form of illness, injury, panic episodes, or strange and apparently random bodily symptoms.
By paying attention to your body’s signals, you can prevent many of these health problems by detecting them early and determining what you need, re-balancing, and restoring yourself to full health. Getting more sleep, prioritizing alone time or intimate connections, knowing how to really relax, or practicing greater self-care are all examples of this.
Aside from preventing illness, learning to tune into your body will provide you with the knowledge you need to raise your day-to-day health from ‘I feel all right’ to ‘I feel wonderful.’
One of the unintended consequences of regularly ignoring the body’s unpleasant signals is that you also suppress a lot of the better, more pleasurable ones. Learning how to re-experience pleasure can assist you in identifying and pursuing more of what feels good for you, bringing more instant delight and satisfaction into your life. This holds true for physical activity, intimate relationships, companionship, hobbies, and pretty much everything else.
Furthermore, the brain will enhance and build up any neural pathways that you force it to go along regularly. That is, the more you practice listening to your pleasure signals, the louder and more powerful those messages become. In other words, you will be able to feel more frequent good times and fewer negative ones.
Boost Your Emotional Intelligence
Emotions are, surprisingly, physical in nature. Although we might think of them as more intangible things, we actually experience them in our bodies. Therefore turning off your body’s messages means shutting out your emotions too. That can be highly problematic, and it means that your brain is in control of things it isn’t equipped to deal with. It will try its best, but being aware of your emotions is essential if you want to make educated choices that will help you create a full, meaningful, genuine, and happy existence.
Begin to think about your feelings. Where do you experience sorrow in your body? What about rage? Joy? How does each emotion make you feel? Learn to recognize your emotions as bodily sensations, and then begin to notice when each one appears. This will provide you with good information about what you need and what is going on for you. Maybe your brain isn’t aware that you’re angry yet, but the coldness in your stomach suggests otherwise. Having access to this information will really change your life.
You’ll also find your intuition is better. Your intuition, like your emotions, manifests physically, which is why we call it a ‘gut feeling’. Learning how to recognize and trust your intuition will enable you to do so swiftly and efficiently. If anything about a person or circumstance seems wrong to you, but you are not in touch with your body’s signals, you may mistake your body’s ‘get out of here’ signal with something much less urgent.
The louder your body’s signals get, the better job you’ll be able to perform of asking questions, investigating, and dealing with whatever you discover. You will most likely feel more energetic, powerful, stronger, happier, and healthier if you practice listening to and reacting to your body’s signals. All of these factors lead to self-belief and self-trust
This is significant since self-confidence is the adversary of worry and uncertainty. When you can be sure about listening to your body and understanding what it’s telling you, and you know how to make essential changes to answer its questions and do what it needs to you do, you’ll feel much more confident not just in your health, but it all areas of life. You’ll know that you can achieve anything you want to.