Having a strong sense of self-awareness doesn’t just apply to our core attitudes, goals, likes, dislikes or personal values. Having an awareness of our bodies and how they help us travel through life is also important for our day-to-day wellness, our longevity and even our confidence. Often when we think of our physical awareness, we may think of being somewhere on the scale between being clumsy or poised, weak or strong, sick or healthy…but there is so much more that encompasses being in tune with our bodies. Let’s explore why having a strong sense of physical awareness is so important to our overall well-being:
When we don’t eat well, it takes its toll on our bodies. While it’s normal to occasionally indulge in a big family meal, eat Hot Cheetos, or skip a meal here and there, continued poor eating habits are detrimental to our health. When we don’t eat (and drink) within healthy limits, our bodies will let us know through changes in our weight, skin, oral health, digestive and cognitive functions, moods, energy levels, and so on. Carefully assessing how we feel and keeping track of what we eat and drink over the course of a few weeks will help to gain valuable insights into our overall health and wellness and reveal what we should avoid or consume more of.
Overdid it at the gym or when raking the lawn? Our muscles will sure tell us when we’ve done so! Experiencing pain is our body’s way of telling us to take it easy, or to do things differently…we just need to listen more carefully. Our bodies were built for being active and resilient, yet these days we tend to live more sedentary lives, and that in itself is causing a whole new realm of physical problems and ailments. It’s not just important to keep active, but to keep in tune to your body whether that means to pick up the pace, take time for self-care, or start a healthy plan of action.
Body image and body language
What do you see when you look in the mirror? While we may recognize that what’s considered ‘attractive’ in our society is very unrealistic and sets impossible standards, we still may fall victim at times to having low body positivity or negative self-image. This can eat away at our confidence and self-esteem, which then reveals itself in our negative body language; it’s all connected! In fact, being aware of our non-verbal communication is another key factor to having strong physical awareness; we convey so much about ourselves through our physicality without having to say a word. What’s important is that we recognize that what we’re made of on the inside is far more valuable than what’s on the outside. Living with passion, loyalty, integrity and caring for others are things that matter most in life.
As humans, we all crave some level of intimacy. Being hugged, having our hand held, or even a brief pat on the back from people we care about can be very welcoming and heart-warming for most people. However, every individual has different intimacy criteria, so being in tune to our own displays of affection or knowing that how we interact physically with others can impact them is an important step to cultivating a stronger physical and self-awareness.
When we are not in a state of physical balance, our bodies will give off all kinds of indicators. Those bags under our eyes, the stomach problems or the ‘wonky knee’ we keep joking about didn’t just appear overnight, those are the result of something bigger going on. While we don’t need to run to a medical professional for every ache, pain or cold, it’s our responsibility to keep on top of our physical health. Staying in tune to our selves, our bodies and our body language are sure-fire ways to navigate through life with a lot more enjoyment and success.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn