Are you listening to your body? It amazes me on a daily basis how much I can learn about myself by paying attention to the cues that my body is giving. You know, like my stomach grumbling when I am hungry, or yawning when I am tired… Just kidding. It’s much more complex than that.
Just a few minutes ago I was sitting here perfectly content watching my boys play football with their friends. At least, I thought I was content. I don’t know what possessed me, but I thought it was time to pay attention to my body cues. I started with my feet. The toes of my right foot were completely curled under. That was my first cue that I might be under some stress. I relaxed my foot and decided to do a full body scan. Traveling up my body, everything else seemed to be in order, then I got to my shoulders. I didn’t notice it right away, but when I took a deep breath then let it out my shoulders dropped from my ears down to where they belong in the first place. Yikes. Next came my jaw. Alright, seems to be where it should be. My forehead though, that’s another story. It’s alternating between a scowl and looking like I’ve just been surprised. And, I have probably looked like that all day without realizing it.
That’s the moment change happens. Once it is recognized. We can go from being unconsciously stressed to being consciously stressed. Sure, you are still stressed, but recognizing and admitting you have a problem is the first step. Once you learn your own body’s stress signals, (everyone’s are different!) you can begin to address the problems.
I know I am stressed because instead of just sitting back enjoying my boys playing football, I have the work phone by my side anticipating the next call. (And…there it goes…) But until I did the body scan, I didn’t realize how stressed. What do I do about it? Drink. Lots. Of. Wine. No, just kidding. (mostly) I take a few deep breaths and focus on relaxing those parts of my body that have tightened up. If it continues, then I take a good hard look at my life and determine if some changes need to me made. And, if they do, I make them. Just that simple. (not quite, but it is a damn good start)
I would love to know, what are your body signals?