Are you listening to your body?

Do you know how your body feels right now?

It’s quite common to not know. Or at least, to tune out of bodily sensations. This is particularly true for people who primarily work by engaging their brain, rather than their hands. (There’s a good chance you belong to this group.)

But what your body tells you matters, even if your work mainly involves writing reports, creating spreadsheets, attending meetings, and sending emails.

Your body can tell you what is the wise course of action. For example, I notice the following patterns:

  • When I find myself yawning during daytime, that means I need to sleep more. 
  • When I have low energy for an extended period, that might mean I need to move my body, or spend more time in the sunshine, or get some fresh air.
  • When I begin to slump into my chair, it’s time to take a break from work.
  • When my hands begin to shake, I have waited too long to eat.
  • When I get clumsy—bumping into things, knocking things over—that means I am tired or stressed. Either way, I need to spend a little time doing nothing, a.k.a. taking a break.

Some of these clues are universal. If you frequently yawn during daytime, you body and your mind really do need more sleep. Other clues will be particular to you.

Which clues do you notice in your body and what do they mean?


— Peter

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