Stress is a part of our daily lives and our mind tells us to keep going but our mind usually does not know what we need.
We have all been there we have 20 things on our to do list, so we “push through”, drink another cup of coffee, just to get it done. But have you ever thought about what this does to your body? Basically, you have multiple times a day that you get the choice to listen to your body or you listen to your mind that tells you that you could be doing more. How often do you listen to each of them? Which one do you respect more?
Go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your guts, is the truth.” ~Miguel Ruiz
Many clients when I first work with them are completely disconnected from their bodies, and they no longer listen to their bodies unless they get sick… Would you like to learn to listen to your body again, so you feel less stressed? Here are five ways to reconnect with it to relieve stress and avoid sickness:
1) Listen to the signs that you need to rest.
- You have no energy.
- Your brain’s feeling foggy.
- All you want to do is sleep/ rest.
- It is harder to exercise.
- You are clumsy and almost injure yourself.
If you are having any of these symptoms, these are signs that you are fatigued. It is time to take a break from your busy life and listen to your body. Drinking coffee or a caffeinated beverage is not the solution when you feel this way. Rest is the only way to re-set the body when you are fatigued. If you have these symptoms for longer than a week, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. Please visit a doctor if you continue to feel this way.
If you keep pushing through, when you feel this way you can give yourself larger health (mental and physical) problems. Love and respect your body, you only have one. Remember it is your long time friend and ally; make sure that you treat it that way.
Sleep is the best meditation. ~Dalai Lama
2) Try taking breaks through out the day to check in with your body.
Learning to have a relationship with your body again takes practice if you have been ignoring it, so a great way to open the lines of communication is to take a break. I like to call these breathing breaks. Notice what your breathing is like. Where does your breath end? Is it in your upper chest or in your diaphragm? Is it in your belly? What is the quality of your breathing? Is it easier for you to connect with your breath with your eyes close? Spend 5 to 10 minutes noticing your breath. See if you can deepen and slow down your breath. This is how your body knows it is in the relaxation response.
Your breath is your life line. Take time to observe it and care about it.
3) Try meditating once a day to help reconnect with your body.
I know that this is my favorite thing to tell you to do in every post I write, but truly meditation is key to living a more connected life. When we are still, we reconnect with our bodies; we feel every fleeting sensations, pain, and thought. We learn to be kind with ourselves and live in the present moment. It helps us to keep focus and feel calm amidst the chaos of life. It can help anchor you into the present instead of living in the past or the future. Mindfulness allows us to be present.
4) Practice relaxation techniques at least once a day.
One of my favorite quotes is and old Zen proverb: “Meditate for 20 minutes every day unless you are too busy. In that case meditate for an hour.” So in this vein, if you are very busy, it is important to still take time to practice relaxation techniques at least once a day. The following exercises have been scientifically proven to relieve stress:
- Progressive relaxation
- Being playful and laughing
- Get more sleep
- Practicing mindfulness
- Body Scan Visualizations
Watch this video to learn how to do a body scan.
5) Listen to your body to prevent sickness.
Sickness occurs because we stop listening to the cues that our body gives us: tiredness, the tickle in the throat, the twinge in your back. When we ignore these warning signs it is like we no longer are being respectful to the temple that is our body. In recent years I have been listening to my body more. When I rest and listen to my body my sickness tends to be less intense and for a shorter duration.
If you feel “off” during the day, take a 5 minute break and use these two acupressure points: the GV 24.5 “Third eye point” and CV 17 “Sea of tranquility,”while you breathe deeply and ask yourself ,” what does my body need right now”?
Our bodies have an innate wisdom of what we need. Value, love, and cherish it. The researcher Robert Sapolsky has been researching the effects of stress on humans for the past 30 years. Here is a documentary about how stress affects us and the animal kingdom in general.
If you are interested in learning more about this subject please check out his book: Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping (2nd Edition)
Try practicing these five stress relievers and let me know how they work for you. Please feel free to contact me email@example.com or write a comment below. May you have a blessed week! Until next time, may you be well, may you have peace and may you be free.
Image credit: Christa Pierce