Mind-body connectionNov 24, 2021
When you are in the state of flow and thriving, your mind and body are connected and working in harmony. We often give more care however, to our minds, than we do to our body sensations. This is why it’s important to learn how to recognise our bodies’ signals and know how to respond so we can enter or remain in the state of flow.
Your body is your barometer and generally tells you first that something is wrong. But we don't pay attention and use our mind to over-ride what our body is telling us. For example, our bodies are a good indicator of our boundaries. Have you ever said YES to something yet your body was saying NO? Learning how to pay attention to what a YES and NO feels like in our bodies will help us learn to set boundaries, which in turn will help us maintain our health and well-being.
For example, a colleague might ask you if you would like to do a daily check-in to help them stay on track for meeting a project deadline. Your body might give you an immediate NO (you need to protect your time!) but your mind might yell out YES, you need to help them! In this instance, your body is the source of truth and learning to pay attention to what that feels like is crucial for maintaining your boundaries.
If you are someone who finds it difficult to say no to others’, paying attention to your body’s signals can be a real game changer. Here are a few ways to help you start reading the signals from your body:
- Slow down - practice to pause for a few moments and feel your body before you engage in thinking. Ask yourself, “what am I feeling right now? What does my body need?”
- Get comfortable with the uncomfortable - acknowledge the uncomfortable feeling you have in your body when you own needs might be in conflict with someone else’s needs, and remind yourself this feeling is just a signal your body is giving you to remind of your own needs
- Start small - start listening to your body and giving yourself what you need in situations that have minimal or almost no impact in your life, for example if someone offers to give you a ride and you prefer to walk
- Know your why - when you feel a hesitation in your body, ask yourself who are you prioritising right now? You or someone else? Or ask yourself why are you engaged in that particular task at hand?
- Connect with your values - when in doubt or confused with how to read your body signals, remember your top values and notice if you are living in line with or against them?
If you would like to read more about this topic and learn more about how to get comfortable with prioritising yourself, we recommend you read this article by The Guardian.
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