Last week I talked about how we aren't encouraged to take care of ourselves. We want so badly to be productive, we ignore our physical needs. Even though productivity seems so important, so is taking care of yourself. Listening to our physical bodies can actually make us healthier.
It turns out that listening to your body is correlated with lower weight.
One study found that people who are good at listening to their bodies tend to have lower BMIs (a high BMI is a risk factor for decreased longevity). Hard-working and self-sacrificing dieters love to believe that ignoring hunger is making them skinnier. This research says otherwise.
Physical self-care is a beast of its own. It includes eating, sleeping, exercise and rest. The best way to way to measure if we are getting enough is through listening.
We are good at listening to our bodies if we consistently respond when we feel a physical need.
Just like you go to a crying baby, we need to attend to the little cries of our bodies. Do you eat when you're hungry? Do you stop eating when you're full? Do you sleep when you're tired? Do you drink water when you're thirsty? Do you go to the doctor when you're sick? Do you floss when there's something stuck in your teeth?
Every time we listen when our bodies call out for help, we build trust and intuition. The better we know our bodies, the more likely we can make them healthier.