There is a lot of talk out in the health and wellness world about the ‘mind/body connection’ – and this is a really amazing thing. The truth is, your body is very wise and holds within it all the information you need to be healthy.
The trouble is, most people have become so disconnected from their body, that the idea of it containing all the knowledge of health one will ever need seems like a far-fetched idea at best, and a dangerous notion at worst.
So we have on the one hand a romantic idea of a body-mind connection, and on the other hand, a complete and total lack of trust in our physical form.
When you venture into the raw foods world, or even when you try to start eating better in general, you will notice that there are a lot of people saying a lot of things – and often times the health information you get from one source completely contradicts the information being shared from another.
This is the main reason why learning to listen to your own body is so important. The truth is, there is no one size fits all lifestyle that will promise health for everyone. We are all slightly different – with different jobs, different taste preferences, we all keep different hours, have different levels of energy we expend in a day and countless other factors that lead us to need to look within to find the right lifestyle.
If you are feeling confused, overwhelmed or challenged on a raw foods or plant-based diet, if you are feeling conflicted by all the information available to you, or if you are trying out a particular method of healthy eating and finding it is not working for you, but do not know what do to instead, then learning to listen to your body is the answer you have been looking for.
The good news here is learning to listen to your body is quite simple. Here are my top five tools for re-establishing your connection with your body, so that you can find your perfect lifestyle for yourself – and reap the many rewards of glowing health.
1. Pause After Meals And Notice How You Are Feeling
Finding the right diet for you, more or less comes down to simple awareness. No one knows your body better than you do, and no one can tell you how certain foods are working or not working for you better than your body can.
The problem here is that most people do not take the time to pause and actually notice how their meals are making them feel. Often times people wait until the body protests very loudly with a very uncomfortable symptom before they consider that something they are eating may not be working for them.
By simply pausing after your meals and taking stock of how you feel – how your digestion is feeling, how your mind is feeling, where your energy levels are at – you will start to get a very clear picture of which foods make you feel great, and which foods make you feel less than your best. It is this awareness that will give you the key to building a diet that supports your lasting health.
2. Pause Half Way Through Your Meals
How many times have you gotten to the end of your meal, only to realize that you are completely stuffed and uncomfortable? Or that you do not feel well, and wish you had taken notice before you finished everything on your plate?
This tip may take some discipline, but it is a practice that is well worth the cultivation effort. Make a habit of putting your utensils down half way through your meal, and doing a check in with your body.
You may find that you naturally start to gravitate towards different foods, or find that you do not need to consume quite as much as you thought you did. Again, awareness is the magical ingredient that will help you figure out what is right for you.
3. Start Your Day With A Gentle Body Scan
When you wake up in the morning, rather than jumping straight out of bed into your day, take a few moments to do a mental scan of your body. Start with your toes, then check in with your feet, your legs, your hips and so on and so forth.
Really take notice of all the messages your body is sending you through physical sensation or lack of sensation. The more you practice tuning into what your body is telling you, the better you will get at discerning what it is saying with its signs and symptoms. All you have to do is tune in. Eventually, as you practice this, you will become your own body whisperer.
There is no better tool for re-connecting with your body than that of movement. Physical activity can help you ‘get out of your head’ and back into your body in the most profound way. Choose any type of movement you enjoy – walking, riding your bike, jogging, yoga, dance – and endeavor to engage in that form of movement at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
Let go of any kind of goals to change your body with movement, and instead use this time to tune in and connect with your body. You may be surprised at the kind of inspiration and information that comes to you through this practice.
5. Keep Track
Finally, if you are struggling with health issues, or if you are trying to find the right diet/lifestyle niche for you, start taking note! Keep a journal of how you feel when you wake up in the morning, any nagging symptoms you experience, take note of how you feel after you eat your meals.
It is so easy to forget/write off symptoms and repetitive messages from the body, but when you write them down, you will have a clear picture of what is going on for you. This can help tremendously when figuring out what does and does not work for you.
Have you felt like you've lost touch with yourself? What lessons have tuning into yourself tought you so far? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Ali is a Holistic Nutritionist, Life Coach, Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor and Spiritual Guide who is also a survivor of anorexia. Through her own journey, and through working with others, Ali has developed some simple techniques that can help anyone re-establish a loving relationship between themselves and their bodies.
Ali’s number one passion in life is seeing those she works with and those who read her work become friends with their bodies again, and with that become more connected and tuned into their life purpose. You can find Ali’s book The Perception Diet, which contains 7 tools for learning to love your body again here – perceptiondiet.com.