Pay attention. Be present.
These are words I’ve heard a lot lately when it comes to considering how we live our lives and the pace we keep. Maybe it stems from the feeling that we need to do more and more, adding things to our schedules to keep up with someone or something, and we’ve realized we need to slow things down a bit. Or maybe it comes from the influx of yoga or yoga-type workouts over the past few years that challenge us to stop, breathe, and see what’s going on in our bodies.
I wonder how often we really do stop to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us. One of the beautiful things I’ve noticed as friends and family members are having babies is how much these women are paying attention to their bodies during pregnancy. They’re in tune with what their bodies need in terms of food, sleep, exercise, and the changes they experience as they move through different trimesters. If you’ve been pregnant before (or close to someone who was) maybe you can relate!
But, we do not have to be pregnant to learn what these mamas can teach us, as these lessons could benefit all of us on our health journeys. If we learn to pay attention to what our bodies need, we can start to give them exactly that, trusting that our bodies are capable of doing their best to keep us healthy and well.
If we learn to pay attention to what our bodies need, we can start to give them exactly that, trusting that our bodies are capable of doing their best to keep us healthy and well.
Perhaps a good place to start is by slowing down for a moment. Easier said than done, for sure! But even taking a few moments to ask yourself some questions could help you begin the process of paying attention to your body’s needs.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Am I hungry in this moment? If not, why do I feel the urge to eat? Am I craving something else?
- How did that meal make me feel? Do I have more energy, or do I feel like I need a nap?
- What does my body need in this moment? Is it to eat to feel nourished and energized, or to eat out of celebration?
- What kind of movement would feel good in my body today?
- Do I want to feel stronger, less stressed, clear-headed (insert your own descriptors) from this exercise?
- If I feel tired, does that mean I need more sleep? Or could I use a little exercise? Or maybe eat something that gives me energy?
Learning to listen to our bodies is a process, especially when it takes intentionality to be still and really listen and think about what we need in that particular moment. But just like anything else we learn, small steps over time can make a big difference. The more we learn to pay attention to what our bodies need, the more we can work with our bodies toward greater and greater health.
Written by: Brittni Paris, SFC Blogger and Wellness Coach