Sick Again? Try these 4 Powerful Ways to Listen to Your Body
It’s been kind of a harsh winter and so many people I kmow have been getting knocked down by colds and illness. I know I’ve found myself slowed down here and there with bouts of tiredness, congestion and headaches, or just those days of intermittent winter blah’s…. when it feels like bedtime at 4pm.
And in a society, that teaches us to push through, have another coffee or eat something sugary for that extra kick instead of just slowing down or resting because there’s sooo much we need to get done…it’s no wonder our bodies rebel at some point.
In my jouney, I have come to see the divine wisdom in illness – that if we don’t stop and pay attention to ourselves — our bodies do it for us. It’s like the emergency brake on a runway train.
Our body talks to us 24/7, and unlike the trappings of our mind, it’s never wrong. It’s 100% pure in its feedback about how you’re living your life.
Your’e simply not meant to battle and resist your body when it’s in pain or discomfort, you’re meant to listen to it. We are born with an innate wisdom. Wthin your body is the perfect compass, always trying to guide you in the direction of your highest well being.
So if you’re reading this and you’re either currently struggling or recovering from a cold that just won’t go away, aches and pains, a cough or bellyache.. And your sick and tired of being sick and tired, instead of being miserable about it why not tune in and ask: What is my body trying to tell me? What area of my life needs more of my attention? Is there a deeper lesson here that I’m being asked to learn?
The answers might be in the phyical realm such as more rest, better eating, more movement. Or it might be sign to go deeper into your emotional life to see how you can nourish yourself.
What would change in your self care if you stopped battling your body and saw each moment of pain or illness as a precious opportunity to investigate your life without judgement but with a gentle and open heart?
Here are the four practices that I have found to be immensely valuable for getting reacquainted with our body wisdom:
Cultivate Time for Quiet Reflection – Let go of the belief that busyness is a badge of honor. Make time for spending time with yourself and your body in silence. Ask with kindness what it needs and be willing to listen patiently without judgement. Imagine your’e making a date with your best friend who you haven’t seen in too long and just be there fully present in the moment. Meditation, journaling, deep breathing, yoga, walking in nature, sipping a cup of tea slowly without distraction are examples of my favorite activties for slowing down. And when your mind is calm, the connection to your body wisdom is strongest.
Honor All Your Feelings and Sensations – Acknowledge the feelings that you tend to want to ignore or distract yourself from: sadness, lonliness, fear, resentment – and notice the physical sensations that tend to go with them in your body: tightness in your chest, shoulder or neck stiffness, shortness of breath, clenching your jaw…Recognize that these feelings are wise feedback for you regarding what you might need physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually.
Stop Trying So Hard – As a recovering control freak and perfectionist myself, I’ve learned to stop trying to force life. I’ve noticed that pushing and obsessing with the details of most things doesn’t guarantee much at all, but what it does do is keeping me living in my head and severed from the connection to my heart. So it goes back to calming down. When you make inner peace a priority, and become aware of what you can and can’t control in life, you are tuned into body wisdom.
Respond with Self Compassion – When your body talks to you in the form of sickness or discomfort now is your chance to respond with a powerful healing energy of acceptance, openness and loving kindness. Become aware of the language you use or the thoughts in your head when you experience pain or discomfort in your body. Instead of complaining and blaming your body try speaking in ways that offer good will and positive support. Undertanding that all our self talk gets internalized in the body is probably the greatest lesson I’ve learned to date.