The Mind - Body - Spirit Connection
The one thing I have fine tuned this year is my mind, body, and spirit connection. My body always whispers before it shouts - and so does yours. Are you aware of it? Do you hear it? Do you feel run down, tired, always feeling like there isn't enough time in the day? Perhaps your lifestyle has become so busy that you have forgotten how to check in with yourself regularly. (Learn how to check in with yourself better here with a free daily self-care checklist here.)
Are you listening to your body? Do you know how?
Your body, believe it or not, does hold all of the answers and guidance you need to feel balanced, grounded, and in the flow of your own life. The tricky part is truly learning to listen to it. Lately, I've been hearing friends, family, and patients explain that they don't feel "sick" so to speak, but they don't feel like they are are living at their healthiest potential. They feel off, disconnected, and out of touch with what their body might need. In my opinion, this is where they have lost some connection within their bodies.
We are all so busy in our heads these days with work stressors, family stressors, and other stressors that the way our body feels is often overlooked as we push through the week. We have the hope that we can recharge on the weekend. But by the time Monday comes along, you don't feel like you've been able to recharge enough.
Checking in with yourself and your body daily is as important as brushing your teeth. By doing simple tasks to take care of yourself will give you subtle clues to keep yourself emotionally, spiritually, and physically grounded and balanced. Your body talks to you through pain, symptoms and DISEASE. Don't forget - it ALWAYS whispers before it shouts. (If you're having trouble staying accountable with simple tasks to take care of yourself like drinking enough water, making sure you have a snack, or meditating for 5 minutes a day check this out.)
Recognizing the whispers is actually much easier than you may think. I think the most effective way is by spending daily quiet time with yourself. Taking the time to listen to my body is my favorite time of the day. The stillness and the quiet time I have to myself really ignites a great mind-body-spirit connection within. The quiet time slows the mind down leaving the mental chatter behind so you can really feel your body.
Try starting with just 5 minutes a day. Set a goal to build that time up to at least 15 minutes over a month period.
Let's Break It Down Step By Step:
- Set an alarm on your smartphone for 5 minutes whilst mentally giving yourself a permission slip that you are allowed to be still and quiet. You deserve this time.
- Try focusing your eyes on one tiny speck on a wall or a table in front of you while you sit in a chair or cross legged. A speck is a quick trick to help us instantly become present and ready to focus on ourselves. You're also welcome to close your eyes, if you feel this is more helpful.
- Scan your body starting at the head and moving down to feet. Notice any sensations you feel. Maybe you have a stiff neck from sitting at a computer all day, or an anxious mind creating tension in your chest, or even maybe tiredness.
- Acknowledge this, but don't analyze the way your body is feeling, this is a judgement free time. Continue moving onto the next area until you've assessed yourself from head to toe.
The key here is to allow whatever sensation you are feeling, you are just learning and trying to feel your body again.
After about a month, you should be more body aware, and able to recognize whispers within and take the action needed The action may be as simple as giving your body a full day’s rest if it feels depleted. Or maybe that action is coming in and seeing me for an adjustment! It may be making that dreaded phone call you have been putting off. Listen to what your body is telling you here.
I find that the best time to do this is first thing when you wake up. Your mind is the quietest at this time, and your body is as rested as it is going to be for the day. Maybe if you have a busy morning ahead - try giving yourself permission the night before that you deserve some quiet time in the morning before you start your day. If you can't fit it in first thing in the morning, maybe try this practice before bed - giving you the time and space for your mid to unwind from the hectic day.
Since I started listening to my mind, body, and spirit I realized that I make better nutritional choices, and crave less junk food. I feel more emotionally stable, calm, and more clear. My brain doesn't feel foggy or unclear. I feel that I can ebb and flow throughout my day, not letting little things stress me out and create drama in my life. Lastly, I feel like this has saved me time, money, and has given me a tool to detect any potential health issues.
The key outcome here is to really focus on what your body needs. Whether this be in the form of starting a new exercise practice that you feel is good for your own body (yoga, high intensity, running) or a new meditation practice. We're all made different - and our bodies benefit from all different forms of exercise and self-care. The take away is knowing what your body needs.