Knowledge is power, as the old saying goes, and this has never been truer than when considering your health. If you are looking at ways to change your health and get yourself moving in the right direction, both physically and mentally, then it’s essential that you have a deep, implicit and intimate understanding of your health.
This all starts with listening to your body. It’s a clever, intuitive thing, but sadly, your body can’t talk in the same language as you speak, so instead you should work on understanding it in different ways. With that in mind, here’s how to better listen to your body today.
Your Body Gives You Signals
The first thing that you need to know is that your body gives you signals for what it needs.
And as a wise person once said, ‘’eat when you’re hungry and sleep when you’re tired’’. We think there’s a lot of truth in that. A rumbling stomach, dry lips, a headache…these are signifiers your body has developed to communicate with you its needs. Listen to them carefully and pay these signs respect.
Go To The Doctor When You Need
Knowledge is power, and whilst checking your symptoms online can be a useful starting point in your road to diagnosis and treatment, it’s a wise idea to exercise a fair bit of caution where Dr. Google is concerned. You could search “Why do I have abdominal pain?” and come away with the possibility of either having indigestion or a ruptured spleen.
As Cover Magazine reports, “Over a third [of Brits are] using online self-diagnosis to decide whether they need to see a medical expert”, which, whilst a good idea to get better informed, is being used so as not to ”put pressure on the NHS”.
It’s been reported that fewer people are seeking medical help out of concerns about COVID-19 being present in GP’s surgeries, hospitals and clinics. Moreover, because of NHS backlogs and waiting times, people aren’t seeking out a crucial diagnosis or much-needed treatment fast enough.
Regardless of the current backlog, if you’re one of those people who puts off going to the doctor, then now is the time to make a change, rather than continue to ignore any latent issues. If your schedule is packed, you may want to get a home visit doctor to come to you. That way, you can get the care you need without needing to visit a clinic.
Instead of spending a string of sleepless nights staring into your phone and doom-scrolling the diseases you may or may not have, it’s important to recognise when it’s time to see an actual doctor rather than misdiagnosing yourself. Whilst passing colds and temporary coughs may not indicate something sinister, lumps, dramatic weight loss, new moles and altered bowel habits are all issues that require physical examination, so don’t put off seeking an appointment.
Hands up if you’re guilty of wolfing down your food, eyes fixated on the TV and not on your fork? Well, eating without thinking does no favours to your gut health.
When it comes to gut and digestion, slowing down and properly chewing your food is the way forward. Chewing is the first stage in the digestion process and puts each meal on the path to healthy digestion from the off. To get all scientific, chewing breaks down your food into smaller particles that are more easily digested. This, in turn, makes it easier for your intestines to absorb the nutrients from your food.
Chewing mindfully may also stop you from overeating. When you eat quickly, the body doesn’t get a chance to tell your brain it’s full. However, when you chew slowly, it gives hormones the time to send signals to the brain that you’ve been well fed and satiated.
It’s time to start giving eating and digesting the care and attention it deserves. Try to eliminate all distractions from the dinner table. So, that’s phones placed well out of reach, TVs off, work banned from this sacred space, and only positive vibes and plentiful plates welcome.
Not chewing your food properly or engaging with your meal attentively can lead to all manner of issues, such as overeating and under appreciating, and even digestive problems such as bloating.
Learn To Know The Nutrients Your Body is Craving
Do you crave salty food when you’re hungover? Chances are you’re dehydrated and your body is looking to fix an electrolyte imbalance. Are you craving chocolate or coca cola? Your body is likely low on its blood sugar level, making you low in energy, too. Has that cheese craving hit again? Perhaps a calcium deficiency needs seeing to. And that curious craving for chicken liver? Your body might be telling you it needs more iron.
Of course, it’s essential to listen to your body, but the link between cravings and deficiencies is still largely unproven. Better still to get acquainted with vitamin information to understand why they are so important to the human body and what it is you need.