First, here’s a short list of what NOT to do:
- Stress out
- Take it personally or assume there’s something wrong with you
- Blame any external factors
Truly, there’s only ONE THING you need to do:
Listen To Your Body.
Because listening…really listening to your body is no easy task, I want to teach you HOW to do this. Could be one of THE MOST VALUABLE skills you ever learn as a woman (or a human, I know more men than usual have been stopping by lately-welcome, gentleman).
I’ve been speaking about this a lot lately and notice that when I open up about my beliefs about women and their bodies, the response can be summed up in an overwhelming “OH MY GOD, YES!!” So here it is.
Most of us spend a lot of time out of our bodies, living externally.
We’re concerned about what we eat, how we look, what we weigh, who we’re dating, where we’re going (this applies to several destinations from dinner Thursday night to our careers), and more.
We go through days at a time without actually checking IN with how we feel. And I’m not just talking about our emotions. I’m talking about deep in our guts, our organs, our cells. We rarely take enough deep breaths each day, slow down for five minutes or more and ask our bodies, our vessels, the only real place we have to live–”What up girl?! How’s it going in there?!”
Our bodies are much smarter than our minds, so as we behave this way, rushing around, focused on the external world, ignoring ourselves– they have to speak up like a little kid who isn’t getting enough attention. Our bodies do this in the form of illness, fatigue, stress, and more. All of these things are like big fucking stop signs begging us to SLOW DOWN and PAY ATTENTION to what’s going on inside.
I know this because I’ve lived the greater part of my 20s this way. It wasn’t until 2011 that I learned to slow down, shut up, and listen. Coincidentally, 2012 has been the most magical year of my life (more on that in the coming months…).
So how do you listen to your body? She can’t talk…or can she?
I was chatting with my mom last week about refinancing the house. She was going over all the details of this company she wasn’t sure she should do business with. I stopped her in the middle of the conversation and said, “I don’t need all the details, do you think you should do business with these people or not?” At first she thought I was being dismissive. So I explained myself…”Just sit there for a minute, think about this situation, do you have any sensations in your body? Do they feel good or bad? You know the answer. Should you do business with these people?” She said, “No.” BOOM! She knew it all along. And you know stuff, too.
All it took was one minute of sitting still with herself, tuning IN, and feeling the message her body had about the situation to get the answer. That’s listening to your body.
To be more clear, I’ve broken it down into a few easy steps so you can start experiencing this phenomenon yourself, today.
Stop and take three deep breaths…I mean deep, breathe into your belly for at least a count of five seconds, pause and hold the breath for a second, and exhale through your nose for at least a count of five seconds.
Ask your body the question. Out loud or to yourself, up to you, might depend on where you are.
Listen. This is kind of like a word association test. The first thing that pops into your mind is THE ANSWER.
[quote] Trust yourself. You know.–>Click to Tweet this![/quote]
Now, I obviously don’t expect you to start tuning into your body everyday for every single thing you need to know immediately. I just want you to try it out. Start with small stuff like, “What do you want for lunch today?” and work your way up to more important things like, “Why do I keep hanging out with this person who is not a good friend?”
The next time you’re about to call, text, email, Facebook, Tweet, or smoke signal someone to ask their opinion on a situation, ask your body first. Then bring your booty back to this blog post and tell me how it went.
That’s Part I of What to do When Diet & Exercise Don’t Work. In Part 2 I’m going to show you how to apply this new skill more specifically when your diet and exercise routine aren’t getting any results or you’re just bored and craving something new.
Have your own tips and strategies for tuning into your body? Share ‘em up, girl! Don’t be selfish, the comment box is below.