How to listen to your body

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.

 

A picture for how to listen to your body

 

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.

 

Here’s the effortless and natural way of drinking water

Are you struggling with drinking water? We hear about the importance of drinking water all the time. We are told we should drink anywhere between 1.5 and 2 liters, or between 6 and 8 cups of water everyday. We are told of all the benefits of drinking water: clear skin, easy digestion, easy flushing out of toxins, etc.

 

A picture for the effortless and natural way of drinking water

 

I used to struggle with drinking a lot of water. I knew the benefits of doing it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’d even convinced myself that I hated water. Can you believe it? Nature’s free and best drink, and I hated it.

So, a few months ago, I decided to give this drinking water thing a try. I found a 2 liter bottle and filled it up, and carried it with me around the house. And surprisingly, I went through those 2 liters everyday. It was a struggle at first, became easier as days went by but remained a bit of a struggle.

And then I realized why I was still struggling when drinking water should’ve felt effortless and natural.

 

Let me share with you my realization.

I was trying too hard. There. That was it. I was trying way too hard to drink water that I struggled and couldn’t get used to the practice. Of course I needed some effort in starting, but I was already on my way, and it should’ve gotten easier, but it hadn’t.

Once I admitted to myself that I was trying too hard, I thought of ways I could make this practice of drinking water effortless and natural. And here’s what I did.

  • I ditched the bottle and started drinking from small cups.
  • I got up from my desk when I was working to go get some water. Sometimes I even went outside the house and drank water there. That gave me a change of scenery and made drinking water more enjoyable and natural for me.
  • I stopped keeping track of how much water I drank. I just told myself to drink a lot of it. But I was no longer hell-bent on consciously measuring it.

 

So, the first day I did the above, I felt myself enjoying drinking water. So I carried on with my new strategy. It’s been a few months now and today I can confidently say that I’m drinking a lot of water and it’s effortless and natural.

 

Could people around you be complicating your efforts to drink water?

I used to watch a lot of fitness videos. It was great at first. I saw people trying to achieve what I wanted to achieve. But the problem came when I let them influence everything I did so much that I was just copying what they did, without regard to whether or not it worked for me.

One day I decided to spread my own wings and fly on my own. I decided that instead of listening to someone else’s body, I was going to listen to my own body. I was armed with a lot of information about health and fitness. Not to say I didn’t think I needed more, of course I did, but I believed the basics I knew would get me where I needed to be: on my way to enjoying a simple healthy lifestyle.

So, I started watching less and less fitness videos until one day I just stopped. Now I had a chance to focus on my body and let it decide what it wanted to do. One thing I learned was that I’d adopted this water bottle technique from these videos. Those people carried huge water bottles everywhere and obsessively tracked their drinking throughout the day.

Well, for me that didn’t work. Drinking water is natural. You are not taught how to do it, you are born with that knowledge. Why should it suddenly become hard?

So, I knew then that though that strategy worked well for the vloggers, for me it was just not working and I needed to find out what worked for me.

 

So, here is what I think you should consider doing

  • If drinking water is a burden then consider ditching the bottle and drinking straight from cups.
  • Make those cups smaller so that you are likely to finish a cup and even go for more water, than not finish the cup and feel bad about it
  • Take every chance you can get to drink water. When you are inside the house and outside.
  • You don’t always need a cup. Make drinking water effortless and natural by playfully drinking from a fountain, or drinking as you water your garden.
  • Remember to incorporate food that contain a lot of water in your diet.

 

The final word

Remember that in our journey of enjoying a simple healthy lifestyle we put strong emphasis on the ‘simple’. We are slowly but surely doing away with the complicated way a lot of people have adopted in favor of a simple way that gets us where we want to go.

If you have that mentality that you can’t drink a lot of water then you need to get rid of it right now. Anybody can drink a lot of water, including you. And if you have that mentality that you hate water, then get rid of that mentality as well. How does that even make sense?

Start drinking a lot of water for your health. Make it effortless and natural and I guarantee you’ll stick with it for the long run.

 

Thank you for reading this post. Water is such an indispensable part of our lives, so of course I’ll be back to write more about it. In the meantime enjoy this post and let us know what you think of it. Is drinking water easy for you or do you also struggle with it? How do you make it effortless and natural? Please tell us in the comments below.