Listening to Your Body

By Christine M. Okezie, CHHC, Natural Foods Chef

Listening to your body is a fundamental principle in holistic health. The basic premise is that if you give your body what it needs, it will naturally heal itself. Similarly, if you are doing something wrong that your body does not like, it will complain. So much valuable information comes to us through the body’s physical sensations and emotions. Learning to listen to your body is a vital self-tool that is worth developing to achieve optimal health.

This is a challenge in today’s world where we are constantly bombarded with messages that discourage us from listening to what our body has to say. We are conditioned to immediately subdue everything with OTC and prescription drugs. Have a headache? Pop a pill. Suffer from indigestion? Take an antacid. Fight insomnia with sleep aids; combat fatigue with caffeinated energy drinks and treat anxiety and mood imbalance with anti-depressants.

In the fast pace of life combined with the constant stimulation of being wired to everything though smartphones, TV and computers, we are so overloaded that we have
lost that vital mind-body connection – that ability to listen to your body’s cues for balance. Our intelligent body is always seeking balance. It has an innate wisdom and desire to be healthy and it sends us signals all the time communicating to us what it needs to balanced. When your body is out of balance, it will show through in many ways including excess weight, headaches, food cravings, nutritional deficiencies, frequent illness, digestive problems, fatigue or blood sugar conditions.

How often do you ignore your body’s basic needs? Do you rest when you are tired? Do you eat when you are hungry? Or stop eating when you are full? Do you even know what your true hunger and fullness signals are? Do you ignore the clear physiological effects of chronic stress? Do you continue to make food and lifestyle choices that leave you feeling depleted? Do you rely too much on external factors rather than internal cues to guide your health?

The more we perceive our body’s subtle messages, the more we can become aware of an imbalance before it manifests in serious disease. You can notice things early and
follow through with an activity, intervention or treatment to help bring your body back into balance.

Making the effort to be more self-aware begins by focusing on what you are doing throughout the day every day. Many people call this being connected or centered.

So go ahead – Ask yourself what’s going on with your body right now?

* How does your head feel?
* How’s your neck and back?
* How is your mood? Energy level?
* How’s your stomach? What signals are you getting?

And of course, beyond here and now, what’s your body been trying to tell you lately?

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