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Are You About To Get Hit By A Mack Truck?

Are You About To Get Hit By A Mack Truck?

No, not because you are walking out into the road with your head buried in your phone, but because you are not listening to your body and overriding the alert that it’s giving you.

Our body is always sending us messages, but in our distracted world it’s getting harder and harder to receive them. We’re often busy in communication with everyone else yet our own body doesn’t get a look in.

There is a conflict that exists between the mind and the body. The mind says “I have to do this”. The body says “I’m really exhausted”. The mind is racing, the body wants to go to sleep. The mind is absorbed, the body is in pain. The mind says “I need to accomplish more”, the body says “I need to pull back”.

Stop for a moment.

Take a few deep, letting go breaths and then breathe down into your belly. Bring your focus to the body and just start to be aware. When you’re still for a moment, what do you notice? What do you feel? Where is there tightness, tension, pain, aching, inflammation? Do you suddenly realise you have a headache, or that your shoulders are scrunched up to your ears. Or that you are hungry, thirsty…..

That’s just the physical stuff – what about how you feel emotionally? Are you calm, angry, grateful, cheerful, upset, inspired, depressed, excited, frustrated, content, anxious, overwhelmed, nourished? Can you actually name what you are feeling?

And why is it important?

Because if you don’t listen to your body it will sooner or later win out over your mind and you will end up facing a Mack Truck Situation. The redoubtable Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post fame is very vocal about her wake-up call when she collapsed from burnout, exhaustion and sleep deprivation and ended up in a pool of blood on her office floor having broken her cheekbone. She needed four stiches in her eye.

It doesn’t have to be that dramatic of course, as my own health issues haven’t been, but the more we ignore the warning signs the more loudly the body tends to speak. When you get an alert from your phone battery you know you need to recharge it otherwise it will “die”. We rush to rescue our phones but not our own bodies!

Anxiety and feeling stressed are signs that all is not well and by paying attention to these feelings and the underlying causes and taking steps to resolve them, we can avoid that Mack Truck.

So as you listen to your body, as you tune into it, ask your body what it needs. It might seem a strange thing to do but your body is talking to you anyhow in terms of feelings and sensations and will also talk to you about what it needs. And you can listen, or not. Take action, or not.

It can take great courage to act on behalf of your body and give it the care, rest, exercise and nurturing that it needs. To resolve unresolved emotions and past events. To treat yourself kindly and with compassion, as opposed to the usual judgement and criticism. To unplug, recharge and renew. But the payoff is great.

If you are pursuing success at the cost of your own wellbeing, some new perspectives, practices and beliefs can turn things around and bring about greater levels of self-care, inspiration, creativity, productivity, wisdom, enjoyment, fulfilment and contribution.

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