What does it mean to listen to your body? When you do so, what are you actually listening for? Listening to your body refers to honoring the connection between your mental and physical self. This connection allows you to maintain awareness of how your body feels. Awareness enlightens you about what your body needs.
Why is this important? Listening to your body is one of the best methods to maintain overall wellness. Your body sends messages and provides little clues that can indicate what it needs. For instance, when you notice a rumble in your stomach, you can assume that you are probably hungry. While this is a simple, more obvious example, it is one most people can relate to.
Your body also indicates when it is tired, tense, thirsty, and anxious. To help maintain balance, it is up to you to understand your body’s signals and act upon them. Below are a few examples of how your body communicates different needs.
Anxiety is something that many of us face. For some, it may be brief and circumstantial. It may linger for weeks, months, or even years for others. Anxiety affects people differently, and some are more impacted than others. It is important to note that anxiety can commonly co-occur with addiction. Sometimes it causes substance abuse, and other times it is a side effect of it.
While anxiety occurs in the mind, the body also displays some symptoms. One common indicator of anxiety is tight muscles in the neck and back. When you are anxious, you tend to hold tension in these areas. Increased heart rate can also accompany anxiety. This is a natural reaction to feeling nervous, worried, or unsettled.
Anxiety can also affect your breathing. Have you ever paid attention to your breathing? When you really make an effort to relax, you might notice that your breathing slows down and becomes very steady. The opposite is true when you are experiencing anxiety. You tend to breathe heavier and at a faster or more irregular pace.
We have all felt that stomach rumble previously referenced. Aside from that, though, our bodies have other ways of letting us know that it isn’t getting the nutrients it needs. If this is the case, you might experience a dull headache that seems to worsen with time. This could indicate your body needs nutrition.
Another way your body may communicate being undernourished is dizziness or feeling lightheaded. When your body lacks nutrients, your blood sugar levels can be affected. If your blood sugar drops too much, it can leave you feeling a bit faint.
Lastly, when your body needs nourishment, you will likely experience low energy levels. Have you heard the phrase “food is fuel”? It’s true! Your body needs food in order to function. Without proper nutrition and water intake, your body cannot work as it should.
Sleep deprivation is something we can all relate to. Regardless of the reason, you have likely been a little low on hours of sleep at one time or another. Sleep is essential for our bodies to function properly. It allows our bodies to heal, recharge, and store energy for the day ahead. Addiction can take a significant toll on sleep, making it very important for those in recovery to listen when the body needs rest.
Learn more about how substance use affects sleep here.
When you are overtired, your muscles may feel weak. In extreme situations, they may even ache or feel sore. This is because sleep allows our muscles time to recover and heal. Without it, they have no opportunity to do so.
A lack of sleep can also lead to impaired decision-making as well as a lack of focus. Your brain, just like your muscles, relies on sleep to recharge and recover. You may find yourself struggling to think clearly or devote attention to a specific task if you haven’t slept well.
In addiction recovery, your body has a lot of healing to do. Drugs and alcohol affect your body, mind, and spirit. As a result, each of these areas needs healing. To address the wellness of each of these areas, it is essential to establish a strong connection with them. This allows you to check in with yourself regularly and work to improve in any way necessary.
At Enlightened Solutions, many of our activities encourage the connection of the mind, body, and spirit. We understand the importance of this connection as it relates to healing. By learning to listen to your body through this connection, you can give your body what it needs to experience long-lasting recovery from addiction.
Having the ability to listen to your body is a skill. Like any other skill, you can practice tuning in and paying attention to what your body is telling you in order to get better at it. Through activities like meditation, you can improve your ability to connect the mind and body. It is important to take good care of your health as you recover from addiction. Listening to what your body needs to heal is key. At Enlightened Solutions, we help clients establish a strong connection within themselves through activities that encourage mindfulness. If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse, we would love to help. To get started, call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.
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