Listen to your body

Tags: Good Living
Listen to your body
When we look at fitness and other health related issues, our fundamental goal is the pursuit of total wellness. For me, wellness is a state we achieve when our mind, body and spirit are in harmony, and this manifests itself as happiness becoming our natural state.

On the other hand, discomfort, pain, depression, anxiety and illness are the disharmonious signs of our body not being ‘well’ in the broader context. It is safe to say that you will not be experiencing happiness in the true sense of the word. In many ways, the most reliable guide to happiness is your body. The body is designed to support the mind, and this mutual support creates the state known as happiness. Together, the mind and the body form a whole. It is artificial to separate the two. You cannot have a single thought, sensation or feeling without the body. All experience has a physical component.

So, what causes the disconnect? It is the lack of awareness. Awareness has tremendous power; it is the invisible, silent agent that lets our body know what our mind is thinking, and at the same time, it sends feedback from the body. Irrespective of the kind of feedback the body sends to the mind, the message is remarkably consistent and can be broken down to four or five fundamentals points.

Yes to balance, no to imbalance. Yes to moderation, no to excess. Yes to regular rhythms in activity, no to erratic schedules. Yes to deep rest at regular intervals, no to lack of sleep. Yes to being in your comfort zone, no to constant stress.

If you closely pay attention to your body, you can see how you relate to these patterns. Dry lips could be a sign of dehydration among other things; a lower back pain could easily be a result of ignoring stretches after doing long stints of cardio or it could also be due to spending longs hours at your work station and not paying attention to your posture. You could be edgy because you are so anxious not to put back on the extra kilos you have lost and you are always counting calories, or because pressures of work and family result in insufficient sleep. I could go on with this list and each symptom can easily have different reasons for different people.

The important thing, however, is to pay attention when your body sends you these signals and to analyse them as well as act upon them. When you get a signal, try and figure out for yourself why you have the certain symptom, if you cannot co-relate it to something you are aware of, see your doctor to get to the bottom of it. I am also not telling to over-analyse every small ache or pain, but it is important for you to be in tune with your body to know whether it is something serious or not. With time, you can learn to read the signals your body is sending out if you are always in ‘communication’ with it. Like with everything in life, practice makes perfect, as you get more aware of your body, you will get better at reading the signals. This knowledge will help you decide when to worry, or when to carry on without corrective action.

(The author is a wellness expert and runs a fitness centre in New Delhi)

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