Our body talks, but do we listen?

by Chaitali

Our body talks? What does that even mean?

When anything happens in the body that requires our attention, our brain is signalled. You bump your toe to the corner of the bed and it hurts. How do you know? Well, the brain is informed and it pulls your attention to the toe. Basic science right? 

However, things get a little twisted here. Although our brain pulls our attention to the injured toe, it doesn’t let us know what happened. We deduce it. Take for example a headache- we know our head is hurting, but why? There could be multiple reasons- change in eyesight power, blocked sinus, toothache that brings in a severe headache, etc. 

So, even though our body talks to us through subtle nudges, we rarely understand it. But WHY do we need to pay attention to the underlying reasons as long as we tend to the pain? 

Well, because reaching to the root of the issue resolves it permanently! However, its simpler said than done. When we treat the pain, we’re attending to the superficial problem but ignoring the real message. Much like how we yell at a child for playing near the stove- we yell not because he was playing near the stove but because it is dangerous and we were afraid that he might get hurt!

It is very important to tune in regularly and listen to our body. You might treat the headache today but when it becomes frequent and we finally manage to go to the doctor, we might find something urgent and usually unpleasant. Our lesson learnt – A stitch in time, saves nine! 

If our bodies talk, how is it that we miss out on listening? 

Because we don’t know the language and we’ve never been curious! We have just one body and we never bother to really hear it! Funny, isn’t it? We’ve never been explained the importance of tuning into our body and decoding its needs. Yes, we feed it, bathe it, and even exercise but what about emotionally connecting with it? Imagine a parent who looks after all your physical needs day after day but never really bothers to talk to you or know about how you are feeling? Feels lonely, right?

Similarly, when we don’t attend to our body on an emotional level, we begin to disconnect with it. While living our life, some of us don’t feel anything while some feel too much. Many suppress what they’re feeling. When we suppress or deny something our body takes it as elimination. It is a simple principle – remove what you don’t need. Like our tails! 

Imagine living in a country where you don’t know or understand the language and the culture and decide to not care anyway. For a while things will work out, but if you don’t try to understand at least the language, life will begin to get tough. We are exactly like this person who doesn’t care to learn the language of our only body and then wonder why our life is so bloody tough and unfair!

So how do we learn to listen to our body?

It’s a fairly simple but not easy. 

Step 1 :  Spend time with your body by quietening down and eliminating distractions. Even if it is for just 10 mins. 

Step 2: Notice the sensations in your body. Get curious about them. Notice how your body parts feel when you are happy, sad, anxious etc. Does you breathing get deep or shallow? Do your palms get clammy? What happens in your tummy? How do your feet feel? How’s your chest- heavy?

Step 3: Honour your body’s needs. Eg: If it is tired then sleep- don’t push too far. Even a 10 mins rest can do wonders. 

Step 4: Stay patient. Over time you’ll notice patterns and that’s when you’ll know instinctively if something is up. 

Most of us shame our bodies for not looking a certain way, overfeed it, never listen to it and then keep wondering why we are falling apart. Try seeing your body as a person or a baby who needs love, affection, care, nurturing and at times tough love. The most important thing is to tune in and listen- it’ll change your life for the best! 

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