The body is a magnificent creation. It lets us know when we're feeling well, and when things are off kilter. If we take good care of it, most likely it will take good care of us. If we abuse or ignore what it is telling us, we fail to recognize the message(s) it is trying to convey.
Imagine, for a moment, our bellies telling us that it's time to eat or perhaps that we ate a bit too much. Imagine working out at the gym to the point where our legs become wobbly, our hands tremble, and our heart feels likes it's beating out of our chest.
Perhaps something that we fear or dread is coming up soon, and we feel a queasy feeling in our stomach, a tightness in our gut, or a crushing pain in our chest.
Physical Wellness Equals Good Mental Health
All these scenarios represent an internalized, somatic occurrence which communicates something uncomfortable. Our bodies then communicate with our brains (in the form of thoughts or self-dialogue), which are then translated into fight or flight, action or inaction, or avoidance. If we deny the message our body is speaking to us, we fail to make the necessary changes to restore, recharge, refresh or change the way we think, feel and act. We run the risk of misinterpreting the cues or messages our bodies are sending us, which in turn lead us to adopt or maintain non-productive, self-sabotaging or destructive thought patterns. These thought patterns, if left unchecked, have a way of becoming obsessive to the point of incapacitation. Obsessive thoughts keep us drowning in the quicksand of a negative emotional state.
Back to the body. The way we interpret what's going on in our body will determine how we respond to our inner and outer world. It is merely an internal representation of the way we perceive ourselves, others and the world around us. If the outside world appears scary to us, our bodies will manifest what we fear. If we allow ourselves to drown in a negative emotional state, our bodies will manifest a state of frustration, despair, hopelessness that mimics the way we feel. Just look into your mirror and see what others see. Feel your energy level and recognize it as a manifestation of internal conflict and turmoil, unfulfilled hopes, and dreams. The way you see yourself will most likely be reflected in the way you carry yourself (upright or hunched forward, sluggish or energetic), the way you dress and, in general, the way you present to the outside world.
So, what is one to do? If one is to accurately listen to what one's body is communicating, it becomes essential that you learn to tune in to your body. A great way of getting in touch with your body, your inner self, is through yoga and various forms of meditation. While meditation may seem boring and uncomfortable, with continued practice you can learn how to block out negative internal dialogue and the world around you just long enough to get in touch with your inner source – that part of self which experiences peace and harmony. When your body is centered, that which seems unclear becomes clear which then leads you down the path of clear thoughts and healthy actions, which then move you from fear to courage, self-awareness and personal growth.