Are You Listening To Your Body?Mar 13, 2022
Last week I woke up one morning with an old lower back injury feeling aggravated.
I have not had this old pain act up in a long time, but it was a really familiar feeling.
It always freaks me out when this happens, as there was a time that I had this pain for over 6 months. Everything I tried made it worse, rather than better, and I wondered if it would ever heal.
I lay in bed and thought "Why does my back feel like this?"
I was confused. I did nothing to aggravate it. I thought through everything I did 2 days prior, and I didn't do anything physically out of the ordinary that would explain why my back was feeling this way.
I'm getting better & better at listening to my body as the years go on.
An old version of me would have tried to stretch it out and continued with my usual morning workout, and everything I had planned for the day.
Today's version of me knew that I needed to listen to my body - to rest that day and take the best care of my back as possible so that it got better rather than worse.
Instead of doing my normal workout that morning, I ran myself an Epsom salt bath.
As I laid in the tub soaking, I started thinking about the mind-body connection. I've been working with a mind-body business coach recently, and so I've been much more tuned into feeling stress & pressure in my body.
I realized that I was really pressuring myself that week to do a lot. I took some time off the week before and it left me feeling really behind on the 'to-do' list.
I also realized how much the world events happening right now is affecting me daily. It's on my mind a lot. I know I'm not alone in this.
I thought back to the time period that this back injury first arrived years ago - yes, I was doing physical work that was not great on my back at the time, but it was also a really stressful & unstable time in my life.
I thought back to the times that my back would act up after that, and realized that this must be mostly a mind-body response to the stress & pressure I've been feeling.
I guess I don't have to do something physical for my back to act up? huh.
I listened to exactly what my body was telling me it needed that day.
That morning epsom salt bath.
Some very gentle stretching.
Ice packs throughout the day.
I didn't sit too long or stand too long as I was working.
I stopped pressuring myself - things will get done when they get done.
(this is why you did not get an email from me last week!)
I took mindful meditation breaks throughout the day to tone down my nervous system.
I didn't take in any news for the day.
The next morning, I woke up about 80% better.
The morning after 100% better.
I share this with you because I want to remind you too, to listen to your body.
Our bodies are brilliant and are talking to us all the time.
I've spent much of my life pushing through pain & working through pain. I'm guessing that you might be able to relate.
I've spent much of my life in a stress response to what's going on around me, while not taking care of my nervous system.
Our bodies will tell us what they need.
When we don't listen, our body will start to yell.
When we still don't listen, then our body may scream at us.
This is when we can end up with longer-term pain & health issues.
Our bodies will tell us when we are under too much stress or pressure, and this can show up in so many ways. Pain, tension, headaches, chronic anxiety, high blood pressure, and any number of health issues.
Our immune systems can take a dip and we get sick easier.
Anything we have going on physically can be exacerbated by stress & pressure.
I'm still a work in progress with this, but I'm learning more & more as time goes on to listen more closely to my body and respect what it tells me it needs.
How closely are you listening to your body daily?
When you strain something in your body, do you give it time to rest rather than push through?
Do you notice that you have more pain or physical symptoms when you are more stressed?
Do you tend to push through not feeling good when you really need to take it easier?
Do you pressure yourself too much & end up with weird ways that you feel uncomfortable in your body?
Sometimes what our body is saying to us is a whisper, but it will keep getting louder when we don't listen. It doesn't like to be ignored.
Start listening more closely. It's important.
Wishing you ease and health in your body, mind & spirit,
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