As you know by now, I’m a huge fan of listening to what your body has to tell you. You see when your mind and body are working together, then life is just better. When they aren’t, then life is more of a struggle and harder. When your body is telling your repeatedly that you have a need for better rest, then it’s time for your mind to listen.
Last time I was sick with a stomach virus, I got reminded of this big time.
At the time, my body kept saying…slow down. Take a nap. Don’t eat anything. Rest more. I’d had a bit of a stomach bug for several days. It was a lesson in listening inward.
Sometimes I get it right & sometimes I don’t.
Some days, I’m really good at it. Other days not so much. Sound familiar?
When, I’m not listening, it’s usually because my mind is telling me that I can’t slow down or stop because I’ve got things that just have to get done before I can rest. It would seem that my mind is telling me that I don’t deserve to rest because my To Do list hasn’t been completed (Guess what? I never do get that evil To Do List complete. So, I need to stop being so hard on myself!)
My brain was saying one thing and my body was saying something different. There were obviously a bit at odds with one another.
The problem with listening to my mind about not stopping until ‘everything’ is done, is that ‘everything’ will never be done. There’s always, always something else that I can and want to do. So, when my body is saying just stop for a bit because you’re fighting off a virus and my mind is saying not yet, that’s a problem.
The result was that when I listened to my body and just rested more, my stomach felt much better. When I ignored that internal wisdom to rest, my stomach hurt more. There was a very direct correlation between how bad my stomach hurt and how active I was.
Now, a wise woman would learn from this and just rest until I was better, and I did that at least partly. I watched a couple of movies, took a long nap, sat outside while it was warm. Then, I would start to feel better and begin to ease myself back into my routine. As soon as I did that, my stomach would start hurting again. My mind would already be back in the swing of things and would keep me going longer than I really needed to be. Some of those things that I did really could have waited.
I went back & forth between my mind and body for those 3 days. I have to say that my body was loud enough to win most of these internal discussions but it’s not always easy to give in. It sometimes takes going through the same lesson multiple times before I get it.
Do you struggle with this as well?
I’ve known for a long time now that when I listen to what my body has to say, my life flows easier. I can focus better and overall I feel better.
Listening to my body is like being a good friend to it. After all, my mind would tell any friend that was sick that there is a need for better rest. You can’t heal when you don’t rest, right?
So, why not let my mind be a friend to my own body?
My body could say something like “Hey, I know you had a lot that you wanted to accomplish today, but life as it is right now is not going to let that happen.” My mind could respond, “Yeah you’re right. So, take a break, rest and heal.”
What a breath of fresh air that would be to have my mind and body on the same page when I’m sick. I certainly would be less frustrated and I know that I’d feel better faster.
Mind vs. Body’s need for better rest
What do you tell yourself at times like this? Is your mind supportive of your body? Or, does your mind make it worse by berating yourself for not being in perfect health?
If you’re like most people that I know, then your mind is busy telling your body that it can push through just about anything. So many of my Type A clients are really busy. All of the time! They deny that there is a need for better rest in their lives even when they are healthy. When they are sick, they just tend to push even harder and deny their body the rest that it desperately needs.
Don’t be like me and so many of my clients! Allow your body to rest when it needs it!
I know that it’s not easy to listen to your body. It’s not something that we’re taught when we’re a kid. It is something that you can learn to do though. I’ve spent years practicing and I still forget at times. The good news is that I get better and better at it all of the time. As I do, I’m living more in congruence with my whole being.
You can experience this too! Start by simply noticing how your body is feeling right now. Then repeat as often as you remember. It’s a practice that will only get better with time.
If you’d like assistance in learning how to do this, then schedule a free chat with me. Let’s talk about how Yoga Therapy can help you learn to listen to your body more deeply than ever before.
And remember, it’s never too late to live healthier and happier!
Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!