‘Tis the season for parties, gatherings, busyness and stress. Not far behind those things are often colds and flu bugs. Have you ever thought you were feeling okay and doing alright and then out of nowhere, your body says… No! You’re not well! Rest immediately! (Our daughter got a taste of that this weekend.)
There is a quote I love from Sarah Vermunt’s book, Careergasm – “Your body will call your bluff. Every time.”
Each of us has been given an amazing gift. Our bodies can act as a first warning system when our health is out of balance. If we tune in to the clues they provide, our bodies can tell us something is wrong well before our minds have deduced a threat. Signals come in a variety of forms and are unique to the individual. Your cue that something is a-miss might be a headache or tingling sensation in your hands, or perhaps an upset tummy.
How do we access this system? There is good news there too. The first step is just to become more aware of how your body feels in a variety of situations. Does your neck tense when you are feeling stressed? (Mine does.) Does your jaw clench or tighten when you are feeling overwhelmed? Body awareness is like a muscle – you strengthen it by using it. If you pay attention, your body will speak to you and provide some pretty useful information.
Beyond a first warning system for the onset of a cold or flu bug this season, body awareness improves your emotional intelligence. Increasing your EI heightens your relational capabilities both at home and at work.
You cannot outrun your body. Most of us deny our bodies what they need, in some form or another. At some point, our bodies will shut those habits down. It’s time we quit fighting our physical forms and create a more honest and harmonious relationship with our bodies. Short and long-term, it is a win-win.