You probably don't need to be told again how important self-care is. You likely emphasize this to your friends and family. But I bet, 9 times out of 10, you dismiss your own advice because of a scarcity of time. External self-care activities that take time away from what feels more urgent are postponed, sometimes forever. Stress and sacrificing self (for work, money and others) becomes a way of life.
Stress is not an effective technique for managing life!
You can relieve stress in every moment through body awareness, posture, breath and subtle movement. Caring for yourself is the highest service you can offer the world. How you treat yourself becomes the model for how you treat others and who you are in every interaction.
External stressors are going to happen, like it or not. How you respond to those outside influences is up to you. And, how you respond is largely influenced by your body and your breath.
What if you could relieve stress in 30 seconds or less? Would you do it?
Whatever field you may be in, the help you offer your clients is (hopefully) well-received most of the time. But we've all experienced times when our skills and wisdom are ignored, even rejected. When that happens, we make a choice; we persist until the client hears us or we give up.
Your body can be seen as your very own helping professional, with you it's only client. When you reject the messages your body gives you, your body also makes a choice. It gets louder to get your attention, or it shuts down until another day. But, your body will never completely abandon you until the day you die. Your body is stuck with you, whether you are compliant and cooperative or not. The only place the ignored communications can go is deeper into your body. Eventually your body will force you to pay attention.
Your body is your built-in ally! It informs when something is amiss, holds unresolved emotions and also influences how you feel about yourself and the world. Yet tragically we often intentionally or habitually disregard it. The body is our tool for us to use, at no charge. Instead of listening to and thanking our body, we too often treat it as the enemy.
Studies say that most communication is non-verbal, and when there is a discrepancy between words and body, look to the body to tell the truth. The body communicates what it is thinking and feeling to others through gesture, sounds and posture. In the same way others pick up messages from your body, so do you. You receive signals from your body constantly which you may ignore or try to interpret. For example, if we feel tired we may wonder if we are depressed, or think we need more sleep or more exercise, or fear we are sick. But maybe being tired is just the body calling for us to give it some attention.
We can use the wisdom of the body in every moment for self-care and preservation!
We tend to dismiss or ignore most self-care strategies because of a scarcity of time. External activities that take time away from what feels more urgent are postponed, sometimes perpetually, until doing everything else but those self-care strategies becomes habit. You may feel you have to choose between caring for yourself or caring for something or someone else.
What gets overlooked is the ability to care for yourself in every moment through body awareness, posture, breath and subtle movement.
Your relationship with your body is one of the few things you actually have some control over. External stressors are going to happen, like it or not. How you respond to those outside influences is up to you. And, how you respond is largely influenced by your body and your breath.
Today, commit to developing a relationship with your body with one simple step. At least twice today, stop for 30 seconds and take an inventory of what sensations you are feeling. That's it. Just notice if you are hot or cold, how your feet are touching the floor or furniture, if you are tight in your neck and shoulders. This simple step of noticing can be likened to acknowledging a child when they are speaking to you. And your body will know that you are paying attention. You will be opening the door for a new conversation. One that could save your life someday.