This Is Why You Should Pay Attention To Your Body For Improved Health
Illness And Disease Do Not Discriminate
“There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.” — Elizabeth A. Behnke
Friedrich Nietzsche was correct in his assessment when he declared: “There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophies.”
We often take for granted how well our body serves us until eventually it no longer does. Motor racing analogies abound when referring to the human structure: a well-oiled and finely-tuned machine are common phrases used.
Your body communicates to you, albeit in silent whispers echoed through: aches, pains, emotions and gut feelings. Many drown out the connection with habitual thoughts occupying space in their minds.
From our teenage years onward, we move from an exciting discovery of our body’s innate wisdom to treating it like an instrument during adulthood. Stress, toxic foods and alcohol predominate one’s adult years which correspond to the most important social period of maturity.
The notion of illness is baulked at by many during this time, accompanied by a sense of invincibility. Countless young adults are quick to proclaim, “This won’t happen to me,” when counselled to curb destructive lifestyle choices.
Yet disease and illness do not discriminate because you think you are immune to it. Nature is not so forgiving when you lose the genetic lottery. Just as striking a match makes fire, illness can pervade the body overnight. When the light goes out, there’s little you can do to reignite it.
Though it need not be this way. You have the ability to create empowered health by paying attention to your body’s innate wisdom through attentive discipline.
Robert Augustus Masters, psychotherapist and healing professional states: “There is a wisdom in the body, a wisdom in feeling, that when accessed and allowed to operate in conjunction with our cognitive capacities, leads to a deeper, wiser, more integrated life.”
Rebalance You Work-Life Commitments
“Everything you need to know is within you. Listen. Feel. Trust the body’s wisdom.” — Dan Millman
You must pay attention to the signs the body communicates since those signals can turn into loud roars if you’re unaware. However unjust, sometimes it’s too late to reverse the progressive stages of chronic illness.
“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health,” states A. J. Reb Materi.
In the quest to attain material possessions, many conceal the body’s cry for help while they satisfy their cravings. Yet you can never fulfil your desires if you are not in harmony with your inner world.
You are no doubt aware that tiredness does not mean reaching for more caffeine, instead it’s a call to slow down and rest. Whilst it is simple advice, many people neglect these signals to plough ahead.
Deadlines must be met, the children need to be fed and dropped off at school and you must please your boss, wife or husband’s needs. Yet, before long the energy you long for has disappeared from your life and you’re addicted to stimulants to keep the flame alive.
Coffee and alcohol are ways in which people numb themselves from the strain of the day, much to the discontent of a wearied body. Whilst I do not intend to paint a grim picture, my experience spanning the past decade suggests some people are prepared to trade their health for work commitments.
It is neither my place nor duty to cast judgement on how one organises their life. Yet when I am called upon to guide people to rebalance their work-life commitments, it is viewed as heresy when I recommend more rest periods throughout their week.
So how can we be more attentive to the body’s innate wisdom?
To begin with, you cannot race through the week at 100 mph and expect to stop on a drop of a hat. It is unwise to throttle your nervous system since it will eventually wear down.
You must allow proper time to rest and digest, otherwise the body becomes trapped in a vicious cycle of stress, much to the detriment of your physical wellbeing.
In his book, The Genie In Your Genes, author Dawson Church affirms: “Meditation produces significant rises in a variety of antibodies and blood cells — all associated with increased immune function. It measurably improves the body’s ability to resist disease and the effects of stress.”
He goes on to say: “Sustainable exercise — exercise done with somatic awareness — may be the most powerful discipline for conducting spirit energy. It literally saturates our body with regenerating life force, from our muscles and bones to our very cells.”
Honour Your Body
“Even quiet, contemplative thinking will be accompanied by minute muscular changes and a string of observable effects in the body. Thinking is a process that is saturated with feelings.” — Darian Leader & David Corfield
In light of this, your priority to evoke these states of wellbeing should include:
1. Exercise in three-dimensional movement patterns.
2. Nourishing your body with the proper ratio of nutrients.
3. Getting adequate sleep at night or rest throughout the day where possible.
4. Reduce or manage stress.
5. Make time for social interactions beyond online mediums.
6. Allowing for quiet time, either through meditation or silent reflection.
7. Spending quality time in nature.
8. Being aware of your alcohol consumption so it does not become a vice.
Moreover, be attentive to your mental and emotional constitution. You need not watch every thought, yet notice the primary mental drivers and their associated emotional partners.
Are you prone to high levels of stress due to your work-life commitments? If so, reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol consumption by replacing it with a contemplative routine. This offers immediate and enhanced physiological benefits.
Make it a point to tune in to your body’s signals known as interoception. Learn to communicate in the body’s language by attending to its needs.
“Even quiet, contemplative thinking will be accompanied by minute muscular changes and a string of observable effects in the body. Thinking is a process that is saturated with feelings,” affirm authors Darian Leader & David Corfield in: Why People Get Sick.
The Blue Zones refer to five geographic areas of the world where people live the longest. Each group thrives on nutritional requirements specific to the region, which vary to other locations. Some subsist on a semi-vegetarian diet while others consume meat on special occasions. As a result, the human body is adaptable to various nutritional needs so long as we honour its primary biological processes.
As a final point, avoid buying into popular opinion that espouses looking a certain way. Primitive cultures of the past knew how to nourish their bodies without having to contend with marketing hype. They didn’t have access to media advising them whether the Paleo or 5:2 diet is the regime of choice this month.
Refuse to treat your body like a machine while expecting it to deliver boundless health and wellbeing.
While mechanical gadgets are prone to wear out, the wisdom of the body lingers on.