In a culture that prizes producing and consuming above all else, it can be difficult to slow down and attune yourself to your body’s needs. However, listening to your body when it tells you to run into the woods, lie down, and never get up can have catastrophic results for your mental and physical health. That’s why you should use these steps to learn how to listen to your body, except for when it tells you to run into the woods and lie down forever.
Don’t judge your feelings.
If you’re feeling agitated, jealous, or lacking, rather than beating yourself up for feeling that way, consider what you can do to alter your mood. Maybe that’s getting off your phone for a few hours, hydrating, or closing your eyes and taking ten deep breaths. If while you’re taking those deep breaths, your body seems to whisper, “Away! Away into the mossy, shadowy depths of the forest. Get thee hence and become one with the cool dirt” with every exhale, then don’t judge that either, but definitely also push back a little.
Make time to rest.
Americans are chronically sleep-deprived, and worse still, conditioned to valorize this condition. Make sure your body has the tools to communicate with you by giving it rest(oration). Skipping going out for drinks or a morning gym sesh for a couple extra hours of rest is a valid decision. Plus, you can think of sleeping as microdosing lying down in the woods forever. If this still isn’t cutting it for you, maybe plan a camping trip! But definitely don’t go alone…. we’re a little worried about you.
Invest in a shock collar to stop you from entering the woods.
Okay, this isn’t necessarily a way to listen to your body in itself, but it should clear out some of the “Run fast, run steady, and don’t glance back. Descend into the kind woodlands and lay your weary head down to rest for all time. No more worries, no more Twitter, just the dense earth; the sounds of bugs climbing clumsily on blades of overgrown grass; the lilting breeze whistling over the treetops. A body, once racked with anxiety and overcommitment, now perfectly still in this ever-breathing tomb” type of thoughts. With that option out of the way you can consider signing up for class pass and maybe doing some yoga! A standard “big dog” collar should do the trick.
So tune into the wavelengths of your body’s needs and then listen to them! But not those thoughts about the woods. La, la, la! Scary! Can’t hear you! Good luck.