If you listen to your body, you will be more likely to give your body exactly what it needs and wants. You will treat yourself better. You will feel more confident. You will feel more vibrant. There are so many positive occurrences that happen when you give your body what it wants and needs.
Learn how to listen to your body with these top ten tips:
1. Drink water. Your BODY NEEDS WATER. When you are hydrated and have plenty of water, you will feel much better and have more energy. Hunger and tiredness are often symptoms of dehydration.
2. Feel what your body needs and wants to eat. If you truly listen to what your body wants, it will usually be exactly what it needs. You may say, but I crave chocolate or I want pizza so badly. That is a mental craving. It’s not actually what your body needs or is even wanting. Notice how even after you’ve had that dessert or meal you craved, you still want more or want something else.
That’s because your body needs something else. It may be vegetables, protein, fruit, nuts (or healthy fats). Whatever your body is asking for, if you give it to your body, you will usually feel much better and satisfied. I’m not saying you can’t ever have chocolate or foods that aren’t great for you, but try to listen to your body each time you eat. If you do this, you will be much more likely to choose the food that your body needs rather than what food your mind thinks is good.
3. Ask your body what movement it needs. How does your body feel? Is it tense? Do you have any aches and pains? Maybe you feel like going for a run, dancing, playing a sport, going to the gym, or swimming. The key question is, how do you feel? Our bodies want to move every day. So, ask yourself, what movement does your body want to do today? If you are stiff or aching, a good stretch could be just what you need. If you’ve been really stressed, try some Pilates, yoga, Zumba, or Nia.
This goes for all movement-based activities. Feeling what your body needs isn’t just a once-a-day thing. Try it throughout the day. Your body may need a run in the morning, a stretch before lunch, Zumba or dancing in the evening. Your body may need multiple, short movement-based activities throughout the day or it may want your workout all at once. Listen to your body from day to day, as it will change. If you feel good doing an activity, you’ll enjoy doing it!
4. Sleep. 7-8 hours of sleep per night is recommended for the average adult. This does vary according to activity level, age, and the specific amount of sleep you function on best. You can experiment to see what is best for you, but do try to get 7-8 hours sleep when you can. It’s not always possible to get a good night’s sleep. But trying to make it more of a consistent thing and having a typical bedtime can help you get the sleep you need.
5. Write it down. Try keeping a journal about how you’ve felt throughout the day, how you feel now, anything you noticed. Did you feel tired after eating bread, did you feel exhausted after those sweets, did you feel really good after those boiled eggs and salad? It’s also a good idea to include what you’ve eaten in the journal. Or you could just write down the foods you noticed make you feel a certain way. Use this as a tool to learn about yourself.
6. Set goals. As you learn more about yourself by listening to your body, try setting goals from things you’ve noticed. You may have noticed a certain food makes you feel bloated or tired. You could try to find a healthier food that you still enjoy to replace that food. You might find you look forward to your weekly Zumba class all week long. Why not do more classes during the week? Look back at your journal and see what you did when you felt good or really great. Try making a goal to add these things into your day more often.
7. Breathe deeply. Read my post …
8. Have some time for you. Try to set aside some time to do something you enjoy or really want to do. It can be 15 minutes some days or 1 hour other days. It depends on your schedule, but just 15 minutes does make a difference.
9. Be grateful. Giving thanks for family, friends, pets, nature, you, anything you feel thankful for helps you get in touch with your emotions. Having gratitude helps you feel happier, too. 🙂
10. Pray. Praying helps you center yourself and get in touch with your spirituality. Pray or do another form of meditation.
Try the 10 tips for listening to your body. What do you have to lose? You can lose your stress, tiredness, weight, and anything your body doesn’t need. What can improve? Your happiness, energy, calmness, health, relationships – you name it!
What is the first tip you want to try?
Modifications made by Christina Chitwood.
Photo without words by Xanetia (Cristina L. F.).