Our lives are so busy in this day and age that we often don't stop and consider how much we are being bombarded with on a daily basis. Sound, light, vibrations, chemicals, and the unseen things, like radio waves and the like. When we talk about the mind body communication, I think the mind has the unfair advantage. So many of us rely on our minds for everything - including shutting down our body's signals for what it needs to keep operating. We could think of it sort of like a demanding boss asking his employee to give 110%, while he has not provided the employee with the right tools. Although many of us don't realize it, our bodies do speak to us, and they tell us what they need. We just need to quiet our minds to hear it. Two very good ways of opening communications with your body are to do a "Body Scan", and to "Listen to Your Body".
Body scans are easy to do.
- Find a quiet spot, preferably not near electronics or other distracting devices.
- Sit comfortably, and regulate your breathing as you focus on it.
- Imagine your attention as a scanner, and starting at the head, slowly "scan" your body, section by section.
- As you scan each section, ask your body if it feels any pain there.
- Sometimes, there will be an answer, other times, there will not be.
- My body usually responds by feeling pain in whatever area is having problems.
For example, one time I did the scan, my stomach felt pain, and I recognized it as I had been neglecting to feed myself properly.
One time, my feet felt pain, and I realized it was because I had never really appreciated what they go through on a daily basis.
Listening to your Body is similar to the Body Scan - but more integrated into daily activities.
Throughout my daily routines, when I put food or substances in my body, I stop for a moment and allow my body to express how it is responding. I have been surprised to find that my body does have preferences for things that my mind is not aware of. I am used to forcing myself to eat things I don't care for and I have found that it responds a lot better to me when I am respecting it. I tried coffee one morning that I had been running a fever - it gave me a clear "NO" that it did not want coffee, so I made herbal tea instead. Sometimes I crave odd foods to find that there is a vitamin or mineral in that food that I need. The important thing is, with each time you put something in your body, are you listening to it's response? When you bathe and care for yourself, do you cut corners, or do you take time to enjoy yourself? A good rule of thumb I use is "would I treat my children or my boyfriend like this if I were doing this for them?" I am committed to treating myself lovingly because I want my children to do the same.
Mind Body Communication is key if we want to be at peace with ourselves. Anxiety stems from an overactive mind, and an under-appreciated, voiceless body that cannot compete with logic and often gets needlessly abused because of our stress. Our minds are amazing vessels, to be sure, but they cannot express emotions in the way our bodies do, and they wouldn't be as magnificent as they are without the body. As we foster respect between the two and open communication lines, we move towards more inner peace.