Hearing “you should listen to your body” probably isn’t uncommon for anyone. Our whole lives we hear this from our doctors, friends, grandparents, moms — literally everyone. But what does that actually mean? Which situations justify taking a break or pushing through?
The simple answer: you should always be listening to your body. Determining when you need to take a break or push through, is where it can get tricky. You have to evaluate everything. Being able to evaluate yourself really comes from knowing your limits. For example, what’s your normal energy, clarity, or focus levels. Another example could be understanding how your body feels before and after working out or how your body reacts to certain foods. Becuase overall health is influenced by some many factors, you really need to figure out your body and what makes it feel best.
Simply put, it’s important to know what’s normal and what’s not normal for your body and its needs.
How To Get Better At Listening Your Body
- Tune into your mind. Mind over matter is real. Mindset can either be a roadblock or your best friend. Sometimes you need to slow down and actually get to know yourself. As weird as that sounds, our lives move fast, and sometimes we neglect our needs simply because we don’t slow down enough to listen. This is why burnout is on the rise, or why you need a full weekend to recover after working out, or your bloated for days because of food that your body didn’t agree with.
- Lean into the “pain curve”. This could be physical, mental, or emotional pain. Pain is a relative term here. For example, when working out, feeling the burn is fine, but feeling true pain is where you should draw the line. When trying to accomplish all your tasks in one day, feeling spread too thin is a sign that burnout is around the corner–take a break. Now to look at emotional “pain”; when dealing with a stressful situation, will pushing through conflict make you a better person or will it expend all of your energy? These are just examples of some things that you need to evaluate for yourself, and once again, everyone’s limits are different.
- Try wearing a tracker. Trackers have become such an accessible tool to learn more about yourself without seeking professional help. You can see your resting heart rate, active heart rate, sleep, and so much more. When you have some extra information, that can be crucial when trying to learn more about your body, you can move forward with more assurance.
However you decide to listen to your body, it’ll be well worth it if it means avoiding burnout, exhaustion, pain, or injury.
Written by GUADS staff member Toni