Amanda Johnson

Love the life you have and have the life you want

Trouble Hearing What Your Body Has To Say? Try This on for Size

9 Comments

Hmm, I’m kinda hungry. I probably shouldn’t eat anything though—we might be going out later.

Man, I’m tired … but I can’t go to bed now—it’s only 8pm!

It’s amazing how we can overcomplicate even the simplest things sometimes, like listening to our bodies. If you’re hungry, eat; if you’re full, stop; if you’re tired, sleep. Although, since most of us have gotten so out of touch with our bodies it can feel harder than it really is sometimes.

Would you like to listen to yourself more often?

Well, if you want to simplify your life in one small way, try taking these steps to listen to your body more often.

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I have always struggled being in touch with my body. My typical response to, “Are you hungry?” is, “Hmm, I’m not sure.”

This is how it’s been for as long as I can remember. Questioning if I was hungry or not, unsure if I wanted more to drink, forcing myself to stay awake even though I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Some of this was due to simply being out of touch with my body. Most of it was due to second-guessing myself, overanalyzing a situation or flat out refusing to listen to my body in the moment.

As I started practicing mindfulness, I became more aware of what was going on inside of me. Now, I continuously practice not only being aware but also listening to what my body has to say.

In this day in age when distraction is the norm, everyone has an opinion on something and justifications are protocol for living, it is no surprise that so many of us are out of touch.

Not only does being in touch simplify things, it is a healthier option.

Putting down my fork and not eating another bite when my body says it is full keeps me from overeating. Noticing when I’ve had enough to drink and not ordering another keeps me from feeling sick. Sleeping when my body says it is tired gives my body the time it needs to replenish and recharge.

To be in tune with your body, you must:

Be in the moment

If you are busy regretting what just happened or worrying about what might happen later, you are more likely to mistake what is going on inside your body or choose not to listen to it. Instead of worrying that your task list won’t get completed if you go to bed now, try listening to your body and see how much more energy and productivity you have the next day.

Avoid judging the sensation as right or wrong, good or bad

There is nothing wrong with being hungry or full or drunk or tired. These are important cues your body is giving you. Listen to them without judging them. Next time your mind starts to say, “I shouldn’t be hungry, I just ate” or “It’s such a waste to leave so much on my plate” or “if she’s getting another drink I suppose I should, too” listen to your body instead of your thoughts.

Release any expectations or attachment to something being a certain way 

Just because you are hoping to hear from someone about dinner plans doesn’t mean you can’t go ahead and eat something now. Just because you always stay drink-for-drink with your friend doesn’t mean you have to today. When we allow our expectations or attachments determine our actions, we are out of touch with our bodies and cause unnecessary stress—on our bodies and on our minds.

Imagine if we all were more in tune with our bodies. Just think what impact that could have on the struggles with obesity, alcoholism, eating disorders, chronic stress, lack of productivity, high rates of burn-out, heart disease—just to name a few.

Next time your body tries to tell you something, tune into that and tune out the thoughts that have up until now been calling all of the shots.

What is the biggest struggle you have in terms of listening to your body? Join the conversation by leaving a comment.

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Author: Presence Matters

Amanda Johnson has one mission: to help people turn their critic into their ally so they can love the life they have and have the life they want. She does this through her work as a writer and presence coach. After years of struggling with depression, motivation and finding any purpose, Amanda made a choice to transform her experience of life. She realized that when she resisted, judged or attached to “what is” she suffered and that this is true for all of us. From this place, the idea to help others cultivate ease and joy through “Presence Matters" was born. Amanda is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years’ experience performing, educating, facilitating and consulting for Fortune 500 companies with the personal mission to reach and change lives for the better. Her passion for helping others—be it a 2nd-grader or a CEO—and her ability to connect with and inspire those she meets are unleashed by her wit, charm, and eloquence, making her message resonate deeply with her audience. For more information and to work with her, visit www.amandajohnson.tv.

9 thoughts on “Trouble Hearing What Your Body Has To Say? Try This on for Size

  1. Thank you for “granting permission” to listen to my body. I certainly can relate to the struggle that comes with questioning, worrying, and trying to follow expectations instead. I need to learn to listen without guilt.

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  2. Thanks for a lovely post.

    I think people are hiding from their emotions when refusing to listen to their bodies. It may stem from some sort of insecurity in some cases, to just a force of habit or even the inability to actually know what their bodies are telling them, as you have already alluded to.

    So, I may be hungry but I force myself not to eat as I feel bad about my weight. Or I may be full but don’t stop eating as I am unhappy. Food, alcohol and generally any sort of excessive behaviour can be great ways to bury our emotions or just forget about them.

    Hiding behind these behaviours can be unhealthy for our body and mind as nothing is correctly addressed, and problems may remain or even grow.

    My advice to anybody who feels like this is to be comfortable in themselves. They have full control over how they are feeling so don’t let their impulses rule their mind. Try to dig deep to understand yourself and remain positively engaged in self-discovery and then self-improvement which leads off from there. Empower your being, so that you are in tune with your body at all times and doing what it needs not what it immediately wants.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Thank you for hitting the nail on the head, once again. It was necessary.

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  4. Hi Amanda. I just read your post on peace on the Kindness blog. I’ve been working with acceptance lately too. Thanks for the reminders. Brad

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  5. Very true, thank you for reminding me. I have been on an intuitive eating journey for a couple of years but judgement of the body is so deeply rooted within me that I keep forgetting it! In general, I really appreciate your inputs. This is just to let you know that I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Feel free to decline; if you are happy to accept, please visit http://inwardmarvels.com/2014/10/10/one-lovely-blog-nomination/ for more information 🙂 Keep it up!

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