This post will be a sort of exploration and also sharing my journey and insights of how Mindfulness and turning towards myself/inward and to my body supported me to become body conscious and what it means, why is it helpful really, for the intention of learning to listen to our body, noticing our limits and edges and being or doing based on our awareness and finding.
Is that happened to you that you worked throughout the day and you completely forgot to eat or drink? What about overeating or eating junk food and still feeling hungry? What about working out and causing yourself harm by exercising to hard? How about feeling the need after a long hours of sitting, to go for a walk but then not making any effort? Perhaps not even noticing that something is not right just after when symptoms are coming? How about noticing how a stressful day or negative thoughts has affected your body? How about the affects of emotions on your body? How about quality sleeping; sleeping enough; and how do you know what it means to you? And perhaps there are many other different examples, it could be endless … So how do you know what is right for you and for your body?
For me it has been quite a long process getting to know myself and how everything is connected, how the external stimulus and also the activity of my mind or emotional reaction has a tremendous affect on my body and vice verse.
What can you learn through practicing Mindfulness meditations, keeping a journal and how does it help?
Right since the beginning the very first moment and session what we learn and practice is noticing the sensations in the body, firstly we only learning to noticing the sensations without any judgment and with kindness towards ourselves; only the sensations, whether noticing and feeling the sensations of the clothes on the body or the sensations of air around the nostrils and in the body. Feeling how the breath expands in the chest and belly, feeling the sensations of the breath cycle; feeling the sensations through all the senses, including tasting, touching, hearing, smelling, seeing, on the surface of the body and in the body.
Once we can develop the ability to feeling the sensations in the body and practising this mindfulness muscles, then slowly step by step we are learning how certain thoughts and then emotions, then events and conversations are changing these sensations, how they are connecting with each other; what is happening in the body.
Once we can notice this connections and cycle of reactivity, we then moving on recognizing perhaps any patterns; noticing how, when and what certain events creating in us. We are practicing to become aware of all these.
When we recognize certain patterns, when we have awareness of what is happening, then we have choices of how to respond to it; possibilities and choices are opening up to us. For example, we could have a choice to sit with it, kindly staying with it, investigating what it is, just putting out the welcome mat, perhaps collecting more information; perhaps we can come back to our anchors in the body if we still not sure if we still find certain things difficult, we can move our attention to perhaps something else, but then practicing to handle with difficulties again, so just perhaps coming back and forth until we are ready for something different, just practicing all these with kindness, curiosity, non-judging and non-striving. As an other option, we can perhaps change something and cut the cycle of reactivity by doing something differently, responding differently, changing our habitual reactions. Additionally, of course we can also just carry on with how it was besides of the awareness, but then just doing this with the knowing that we have a choice.
How did you follow so far? Let me know in the comment. 😉
So, for instance, for example noticing our edges when exercising, as this was a major lesson for me. I am a very competitive person, maybe not so much as I was before, but it is within me and it meant also that I wanted to prove certain things, either to prove that I can belong, or I am better or as I just wanted to perfect and push hard. And what happened many times that I did not listen to what my body was telling me, I often had so much muscle aches after exercising that I was not able to move, or I injured myself because I did not listen when I felt it hurts because I was following the instructor and I wanted to give the performance expected and so on. So I was not listening. And what I have learned and still continuously learning in various situations and which Mindfulness is a huge support, than simply kindly feel where my limits and edges are and being kind to myself, listening to myself; and if it means that I do not perform in a way which expected then that`s fine, just knowing that I have a choice, and of course I can choose to carry on if I want to, but then just understanding the possible consequences in one hand, or knowing that I have a choice to perhaps do something differently what other people does. So, learning to become listening and be comfortable in our own body, being kind to ourselves and then communicate our needs, shape our responding for what is right for us.
And what is really brilliant here or maybe not, that it is our responsibility; we feel our body, no one else can feel instead of us. Furthermore, once we have this awareness, kindness and consciousness in our life, we have the ability to recognise and offer this to other people, enable them to do feel and act upon what is right for them.
This does not happen overnight though, so be patient and kind to yourself 🙂 .
How much do you listen to your body? What do you hear? How do you respond?
I`m looking forward to hear your story, thoughts or questions about this, please comment it below.