Your body, your mind, your emotions, and your spirit, are all interdependent. This means there is a mutual dependence between all of these aspects of your being. And it also means that your health is impacted by all of these aspects of your life. That’s truly the meaning of holistic health. These different aspects that make up who you are and how you are come together to play a part in your health and well-being.
We have trillions of cells in our body, and every cell knows when you are happy, frightened, anxious or stressed. A cell’s awareness is expressed in chemical reactions instead of words, and this message comes through loud and clear to affect your physical body. You might try to “lie” to yourself to act as if you are happy, but your cells don’t lie. They know the truth and they express it whether you do or not.
Given that your cells won’t lie, there is often a correlation between our physical bodies in pain and a stressor that has caused it.
Consider an example where you are so busy and have become stressed over a workload you can’t handle all by yourself due to your coworker leaving the company and their role not being filled. You don’t ask for help because you don’t want to appear incapable by your boss. So your stress level sets in, but you keep ignoring it, keep doing the overly demanding job, and not expressing your frustrations and challenges to your boss. Then one day you notice your body is so tense. Your back is stiff and in a great deal of pain. In this case, your body has spoken to you loudly, even though you may not verbalize your resentment and overwhelm from the situation.
As you can see, when you don’t pay attention to small emotional dissatisfaction, it can end up becoming a bigger physical pain, heart problem, or even an autoimmune condition.
It’s easy to become accustomed to ignoring what your body is trying to tell you. It’s truly in your best interest to cultivate a practice of listening to your body. That is not as easy as it may sound. Here are some ideas for how to start getting in touch with what your body is telling you:
- Meditation: Spending time each day in quiet meditation can help you form a stronger awareness of your body, mind, and soul. Just google it and I’m sure you will find dozens of meditation classes near you. Or you can easily find online meditation tools or books. It is a practice that is becoming very popular in our society.
- Yoga: There are many different forms of yoga. Kundalini yoga is the yoga of awareness. This primarily involves breathing exercises and mantras to help you gain a greater awareness of yourself and your part in the Universe.
- Journaling: When you journal about your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis, you are tapping into what you might otherwise overlook. And you give a voice to the emotions you are experiencing. With a regular practice of journaling, you might begin to notice you’ll have an emotional catharsis.
- Notice, just notice: Stop yourself from going through the day on autopilot. Instead of going from one task to another without hesitation, try to be still for a few moments throughout the day. In your still moments consider what is happening around you. How do you feel? Don’t think of how you should feel or what is expected of you to feel. But consider how you really feel? Don’t judge your feelings. Just feel them and know they are valid.
- Allow: Allow your feelings to come naturally. Feel what you feel. Don’t cloud your emotions with denial for those feelings. If it’s a sadness, allow it in. If it’s anger, let it be anger. Too often, we deny our actual feelings and put on a facade that we think is more acceptable to others. But it is in your best interest to feel the feelings you really feel. Let them come. Let your heart feel what it naturally wants to feel. This is going to be the only way to get them to the surface. And it’s critically important to do so. To do otherwise will manifest illness in your cells. Remember, our cells don’t lie.
- Trusting your gut: Have you ever made a decision that you later discovered was not the best one? And perhaps you knew even at the time that your gut was telling you differently? That’s a situation where you should have trusted your gut. Practice listening and giving some credence to what your instinct tells you. Check out this blog article about trusting your intuition: https://www.bustle.com/p/11-ways-to-know-if-your-intuition-is-trying-to-tell-you-something-how-to-listen-38787
- Acceptance: Accept things as they are. Don’t resist what is. Don’t judge it. There are going to be moments in your life that you don’t like what is happening. But to deny them, resist them, or try to change and control them, is only going to lead to greater frustration for yourself. Instead, let things occur as they will. If it’s something having to do with someone else, something else or a situation beyond your control, let it go. Keep your “side of the street clean”, as they say. Just do what you can do and release the outcome to the Universe to handle. When we step out of our own way, we get exactly what is meant for us, whether we realize it or not.
I hope these different practices for getting more in touch with your true feelings and emotions help you identify stress signals your body is presenting to you. When your emotional well-being is free from anxiety and stress, so too is your physical well-being.
There is a wonderful book called The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, by Dr. Deepak Chopra. He talks about awareness of the body, and things you can do today to get on the path to increased awareness. Below is a video of him introducing it.