What does listening to your body mean? For me, it is paying attention to the sensations that are both physical and emotional within my body. Sometimes the sensations are somewhat intricate and small, and at other times they are large noicy symptoms. The trick is to listen and pay attention.
Many of us are brought up with the notion to “toughen it out” if something feels uncomfortable, may it be physical or emotional. That can be like driving your car straight through a stop sign, instead of stopping and paying attention before continuing. So stop for a moment and notice what your body is telling you. Otherwise a crash could be the consequence.
I’ve learned the hard way that I often listen to my body afterwards, when it is too late. I am by then so depleted of energy that I can barely function. The key is to stop in time. I know that I need to move through life in a slow pace. With every activity, I need time to rest until I’m ready to get going again.
In the moments when I feel well, I get caught up in how wonderful it is to be active out there in the world. If I don’t pay close attention when my energy is running low, I might pay for it for days. Like this past weekend for example. I felt stronger so I went for walks, out for lunch, and to an event. That could be nothing for a lot of people. For me (and other people) that is battling a chronic illness, that was a lot. By Monday I could hardly get out of bed. Why? Because I hadn’t listen to my body in time. My whole body was screaming to slow down several times, but I was deaf at the moment. Only to really hear what my body needed afterwards.
Now I am giving my body plenty of rest, and mixing in some gentle yoga stretches, reading, writing, and going for short walks with my dog. Movement is vital and so is rest. It just needs to be the perfect balance between the two, and it is different for every person.
I am slowly finding the rhythm that works for me. It is a stop-and-go-stop-and-go rhythm. Which rhythm in life works best for you?