Listen to your body. We hear that all the time, yet a lot of people still struggle with what it really means. In our journey of enjoying a simple healthy lifestyle, listening to your body is very important.
Having a deep relationship with your body will enable you to pick up every sign it’s giving you, thereby taking the necessary measures to get it to where it should be.
We’ve talked about listening to your body before. But I want to dedicate this post solely to the topic just to make sure everyone understands what we really mean when we say listen to your body.
So what does ‘listen to your body’ really mean?
Now, your body is your best messenger. It will tell you when things are going well and when they are going not so well. The best thing you can do is listen when it’s telling you these things. It will never lie to you.
But many of us have chosen to ignore everything the body tells us in favor of what we think it needs. We push it too hard to achieve the things we want to achieve. We want a lean toned body. So we push ourselves too hard at the gym for the physique. Great, now we’ve achieved fitness at the expense of health.
It means nothing to be fit but not healthy. OK, maybe your body rocks and you turn heads everywhere you go. But in the long run, your body is going to break down if you are exercising 4 hours at the gym, eating very little and not getting enough sleep.
- If you are committed to your exercise regime but today you feel fatigued, then maybe you need to take a step back from that treadmill, from those weights, and take a break, sometimes not just for the rest of that session but for the rest of the day, and the next day, maybe even the next week.
If you worry that taking a break from your workouts will drag down your progress, then don’t worry. The opposite is actually true. Taking a break will actually benefit your body.
- When you are eating, your body will tell you when you are full. Don’t argue with it by continuing to stuff yourself with food.
- Your body will tell you when you are thirsty. Headache is a sign of dehydration. Next time you have a headache, drink some water. It always works for me.
- Listen to your cravings. I know this might sound a bit controversial but please hear me out. I used to struggle with cravings. I still do. Before I discovered what I’m about to share with you, I refused to yield to my cravings. Now, I’m sure this has happened with you before. Maybe you crave a cookie, but you try really hard to not reach for that cookie. Instead you reach for an apple.
You are thinking ‘good choice’ right? Well, an apple is definitely healthier than a cookie. But you are lying to yourself if you think that apple is going to satisfy your craving for a cookie. I guarantee you: you will eat the apple, and then the cookie.
So, I was that misguided before. Remember you can’t argue with your body. You can certainly try, but it will backfire on you. But you can trick the body.
Now this is what I do to trick my body, and it actually works.
Everything that I eat is home made. I make all my food. So, when I crave a cookie, I always make a healthier version of that cookie. I’ll make a cookie and sweeten it with fruit instead of table sugar. I’ll make the cookie smaller and that always tricks my mind into thinking that having more than two helpings is just too much.
You can try doing that. Make a healthier version of the food you crave. Your body will still get to have that food it craves, but it will be a healthier version.
- When you feel sick, your body needs to rest. Let it rest and don’t push it to work. This past week I had a cold. I didn’t want to take time off from my work, but I also knew I needed to let my body rest. That meant not working as hard as I do when I’m not sick, and going to bed earlier than I usually do. I tend to recover much quicker when I do that.
- Your body will also tell you when you are stressed. Don’t simply dismiss that stress but address it. Identify why you are stressed, and then deal with that stress.
I’ve found my refuge in the word of God, so that’s always my cure for stress. I read about God’s solution to the problem I’m having. I tell him about it and trust that his solution is the best.
The bible says we shouldn’t worry about anything but we should pray about everything. It also says, worrying won’t make you an inch taller, in other words, it won’t achieve anything good. So the best thing to do is rest in God’s promise to take care of us in every way. That’s the most effective solution to stress.
The final word
Your body is always talking to you. Respect it by listening to it. Be in tune with it so you are aware of even the slightest communication it tries to make with you. If you do that, your body will never fail you. It will sustain you as you enjoy a simple healthy lifestyle.
Thank you for reading this post. Hopefully, by now you have an understanding of what it means to listen to your body. Now it’s your turn. How do you listen to your body? Share with us in the comments below.
Check out this great article by mindbodygreen on listening to your body.