Parenting your body

Since our emotional well-being is also affected by our physical wellbeing I like to give some food for thought around lifestyle choices.  I am not a doctor or a nutritionist so I don’t give advice on this. I do however encourage people to listen to their bodies but also to work on understanding what our bodies signals are telling us. It is important to remember not to follow every impulse that your body gives you.  In the same way that I encourage people to take control of their minds so that you are in control rather than being ruled by your many thinking habits. I also encourage people to learn about their bodies and what the signals they are receiving actually mean.

Science has come a long way in the past decade and we know far more about the way the body works now than when many of us were in school.  We are learning that many of our assumptions around diet and exercise are incorrect and perhaps harmful. We are also beginning to understand the signals our body is sending us much better.  For example, when you feel hungry it is caused by hormones being released in your body and this often happens more based on the habits and routines than on your bodies actual need for nutrients.  Just as the cravings you have are likely more to do with dependencies that your body has developed than what it actually needs. If you choose not to listen to some of your cravings and impulses you will find that it becomes easier to control your body than you might think.

On the one hand, we may be tired and then consume a stimulant like coffee to overcome our fatigue or we may feel pain and take pain medication. On the other hand, we have cravings for food or sexual impulses and sometimes let these signals dictate our behaviour. Instead of looking at the quality of our sleep or the source of our pain we find ways to overcome the signals our body is giving us unless there is some kind of pleasure or reward associated with certain behaviour.  If you ignore when your body is telling you to change but obey every impulse brought on by old routines and bad habits. then its time to start managing the relationship between you and your body differently.

I see this process as being similar to parenting.  Most parents don’t just give their child sweets when they want them or buy them all the toys they want even when they have a temper tantrum.  They hopefully make a choice for the child based on what they believe is best for their physical and mental wellbeing.  You can treat your body the same way.  Try to understand what is behind your body’s impulses and choose what to give in to and what not.  This is your primary responsibility, so take it seriously and you will look and feel better. You will also feel more confident, self-aware and happier.