Body awareness is so important, but we live in a world where we are increasingly forgetting to listen to our bodies. Most of us can probably relate to an everyday life being stressful and overflowing with appointments. We feel tired, get headaches, more severe menstrual pain than usual and sleep really badly. But instead of dealing with the exact cause of those signs, we go to the doctor or the pharmacy and promise ourselves a small miracle pill that will take away all our pain. But the symptoms are persistent and keep coming back. How come and how can body awareness help?
Table of content
- Where do physical symptoms come from?
- Body Awareness to feel good again
- Final thoughts
1. Where do physical symptoms come from?
First of all, it is important to mention that everyone’s body is different and of course it can still be advisable to see a doctor if you have symptoms.
However, many of our symptoms, such as the headaches or period pains mentioned above, are physical signals that show us, something is out of balance. Mostly it’s the impact of an unhealthy lifestyle. Causes can be too much stress, eating unhealthy and/ or not moving enough. The body is incredibly intelligent and by no means our enemy.
If we’d pay more attention to him and listen, many of the symptoms would probably go away on their own. But often we repress the cause so well that we no longer have any access to why we are feeling so bad. So it can happen that the symptoms become stronger and more frequent. When that happens we start to see our bodies even more as our enemy. But what can we do? Does listening to our body mean, we need to quit our jobs, because they make us feel stressed? Does it mean, not party anymore, as we don’t feel great the next day? Or does it even mean to just eat fruits and vegetables as we feel more tired after eating sweets?
2. Body Awareness to feel Good again
Don’t worry, that’s a big NO! You should still be having fun in life and a little bit of stress doesn’t hurt you either. The answer to what we can do is so simple and yet somehow not that easy to implement: take time for yourself! It’s not about spending 5 hours a day in silence. Just 10 minutes a day can make a big difference. Look inside and ask yourself “what do I really need right now?”. This can be drinking a cup of tea in silence, meditating, a workout or just dancing around in your apartment to your favourite music. There is no right or wrong here. During this time, observe what emotions come up and let them flow thru. Let everything just be there. In the beginning it can be difficult to find out what it is, that makes you feel good. But over time it becomes easier and easier to access our body.
If you’re more experienced, you might want to try to really connect with the symptom you keep on having. Let’s say it’s the headache that seems to not go away. Try to not judge the feeling of the headache (that’s the hard part, I know), but instead ask your body, what it’s trying to tell you. Does it always come up in the same situations? How do you feel before having those headaches? Just imagine having a little conversation with yourself and your body. Most of the times you’ll find, that your body is not giving you the symptoms randomly, but at certain situations/ with certain feelings. Maybe every time you’re so stressed out that you don’t even remember to take a break at work. Maybe at times you go to bed very late for a couple of days in a row. This is super individual. That’s why there is not THE answer and it’s so important to start listening to your body on a daily basis.
Always remember – there can be days when you may not have access. Then it’s time to listen and feel what could be causing this numbness. The more we manage to listen to our body especially during those times, the easier it will be for us in everyday life. It is an overall healthy lifestyle, where you take time and allow yourself to rest, that helps your body and soul to feel good. And by healthy lifestyle I mean a balanced 😉
List of tools that help with connecting to our body and mind:
- cycle awareness and period tracking
- healthy food, as addictive substances such as sugar can also prevent us from connecting with our body
- movement such as dancing, yoga, stretching, fitness (it’s important to listen to your body and to not push yourself too far on a workout or to do something even when you feel like you need some rest)
- daily mindfulness (e.g. when drinking your morning coffee/ tea in silence, a short walk during lunch break with no phone)
- “me-time” where you just lay on your bed and let all your thoughts come up rather than pushing them away
- taking a bath with candles and your favourite calming music
- rituals, like cacao ceremonies that help you connect to your inner world
If you are looking for a mindfulness class or cacao ceremonies that help you to integrate more bodyawareness and selflove, you can find them right HERE.
3. Final thoughts
Body awareness and mindfulness can make such a big difference in daily life. If you don’t know where to start, take it slow! Just try to take 5-10 min per day doing one of the things from the list above. Make sure you do whatever feels best for you that day, that way you will want to stick to it.
What has also helped me, was to write down the days and situations when I felt out of balance and the days the symptoms appeared. I realized that I didn’t always remember by heart. After a couple of days or weeks, you can see if there is a pattern. If you realize your symptoms always appear at the same time, for example when you have a lot of stress, try to find a tool (from the above list), that helps you to not get that stressed out. You could for example start to do a 1 min breathwork every hour or two at work or a small meditation in the bathroom.
Be creative and put yourself first!