Be selfish with your health. Set several times everyday to take a step back and reflect on how you are feeling. If you aren’t doing too well how can you help those around you? The next time someone asks, “How are you?” feel free to respond with the obligatory “Good! And you?” but also use this chance to step back and pay attention. Really. How are you? It is up to you to listen to your body. Take pride in listening to your body because you’re the best in the world at it (how awesome is that!)
Take a second and ask yourself this little humdinger “What changes would I make if I listened to my body more?” You might be surprised with the answer. Here’s the fun part, those little whispers that you might have been ignoring are very important messages that we’ve been taught to suppress? I’m not suggesting we devolve into a Cro-Magnon haze but if you “Keep throwing your back out” or “Always feel sick after drinking milk” it would be good to treat it like a clue instead of an inconvenience. Would Sherlock Holmes constantly complain to Watson if a he stubbed his toe on wooden crate that was in his way after getting a splinter by turning a knob while entering an crime-scene? NO! He would start looking for all suspects less than 4 feet tall with a hook for a hand. It’s probable that your body knows “exactly” what it needs at any given time and the answers are already within grasp!
Many therapists would agree that communication is the foundation of any relationship. Possession of information (or misinformation) is the root of behavior because it solidifies belief which dictates action. We may know what our body sounds like but to truly listen it takes more “effort” and intention.
Imagine the difference between two scenarios:
1.) One couple is sitting in a cramped corner of their local coffee shop at noon.
2.) Another couple is lounging on an sandy blanket beach watching the sun rise over the ocean.
Totally different environments, right? Now imagine that both couples start to have the EXACT same conversation with the same words, tone, volume and everything. Are they both communicating equally as effectively?
I would lay a bet that the beach bums had a much easier time sharing ideas and expressing their feelings as opposed to their caffeinated cousins.
The point: Don’t expect to achieve great insights (mentally, physically or spiritually) during moments of stress, pain or hustle& bustle. In fact, the more you learn to breathe deeply, relax (mentally, physically and spiritually) the more receptive and capable you will be.
This is most helpful while trying to pay attention to the whole message. Did you think it was some funny coincidence that some of your best ideas “came to you” in the shower or while performing another relaxing/repetitive task? :)