How to Learn Your Body’s Language
Is your body trying to tell you something?
How do you feel lately? Is your body happy with your life, or has it been trying to get your attention?
In our society, so many of us are disconnected from our innate wisdom about our life and health, and look to other sources to guide us. We search online about our symptoms, trying to figure out a diagnosis, or go to the doctor and ask for a prescription to make the annoying and typically inconvenient symptom(s) go away. I see this all the time in the clinic where I work – most people care more about not missing a beat in their excessively busy lives, than they do about trying to understand what their body might be trying to tell them through symptoms or illness. Obviously, if you have a new worrisome symptom it’s important to find out what might be the cause (from a qualified medical professional), and seek appropriate treatment. But too many of us stop there, and miss the most important message.
Some search for the perfect supplement to give them more energy or protect them from illness as they push their bodies through lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and excessive stress. Others, if their body and mind are feeling sluggish, give their poor tired bodies a hefty kick with some espresso or Red Bull.
Some others might ask a “healer” to tell them what a disease or symptom represents in their life – this last one is very popular in my hometown, and I even experimented with this for a while. In fact, I have tried all of the above.What I’ve learned is that though outside input can have its place (especially when it comes to going to a licensed health professional), the most effective, powerful thing you can do, that applies to virtually all health situations and costs absolutely nothing, is to learn to listen to, respect, and act upon what your body is trying to tell you.
Our body first whispers to us when something is out of whack in our life and needs to be adjusted. If we ignore it, it tends to get louder. Sometimes, it starts to shout and refuses to quiet down (and will sometimes knock you flat onto your back) until you finally pay it some proper attention. The element of your life that might need adjustment may be your lifestyle, your diet, your schedule, your social circle, your job, the way you spend your free time, your closest relationship, on and on goes the list.
Reading this, you might feel incompetent or inadequate. After all, who are you, with no medical training, to understand or interpret what’s going on in your body? Newsflash: you are the expert on all aspects of your own life, inside and out. You know what’s really going on, even if you haven’t admitted it to yourself yet. Without fail, when I ask patients or clients to take a moment and ask themselves, what this symptom or illness is about, they always know. And you will, too.
In my keynotes and seminars, I often share a story about my own health. A couple of years ago I had strange symptoms of what I (and my neurologist) thought might have been Multiple Sclerosis. When I finally snapped out of weeks of worry and self-pity, I realized that I’d forgotten to ask my body what this was all about. It came to me in one word: balance.
I’d let things get way too busy (as I frequently do), and my body wasn’t going to let me get away with it anymore. When I balanced my life and paid strict attention to getting more sleep, eating better, reducing stress and going for regular walks, the strange neurological symptoms went away. This isn’t to say that anyone with MS (which I turned out not to have) just needs to get their life back into balance in order to make their symptoms or diagnosis go away. Regardless, living a healthier, less stressed, more balanced life is sure to give you a better chance of having your symptoms – any symptoms – resolve or go into remission, and will help you cope a lot better even if they don’t. Balance might not be your personal issue, but this was an important lesson for me to learn. I got the message, and my life and health are better for it. And still are, two years later.
Some other real-life examples:
• A woman who developed Fibromyalgia (crippling fatigue and body aches) while working an 80-hour-a-week corporate job. When she left the job, her symptoms gradually disappeared. When she tried to go back later, even just doing contract work, her symptoms came back. She’s now created a fabulous new career in an entirely new line of work, a job where she improves other people’s lives and health.
• For years, a coaching client of mine suffered from frequent sore throats that no doctor was able to diagnose or treat. When she finally left a relationship situation that had been stifling her and her ability to speak up for herself, the sore throats disappeared. She healed herself by literally “finding” her voice!
• A family friend who, during a very stressful time in her life, was diagnosed with supposedly incurable Celiac Disease (severe illness from eating wheat gluten). When that stressful time passed, and she began joyfully working in the career of her dreams, her condition completely disappeared. She eats wheat with absolutely no problems, and this has been confirmed medically. As a doctor, this seems medically impossible to me, but she’s a health professional and assures me that the miracle was real.
Note that these stories were based on the “truth” for each individual, based on the unique message that they felt that their body was telling them. With respect to whatever is going on in your body, the key is to ask yourself what it is really about on a deeper level, for you (no matter what anyone else says) and determine what you need to adjust in your life, health, or attitude.
If you’d like to learn more about this I’ve written an entire chapter (Chapter 5: Learn Your Body’s Language) about this topic in my new book, Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You. You can also find more information on my website,www.LiveALifeYouLoveBook.com or www.susanbiali.com