How to Listen to Your Body

Your body is always sending you messages. This practice helps you learn to hear what it’s saying—by taking the time to notice.

Illustration by Gwenda Kaczor

When was the last time you noticed how your body was feeling? Not just when you have a headache or you’re tired or you have heartburn after that spicy taco you ate for lunch. But just noticing how your body is feeling right now, while you’re sitting or standing or lying down. How about noticing how your body feels while you’re sitting in an important meeting or walking down the street or playing with your children?

In our busy, high-tech, low-touch lives, it’s easy to operate detached from our own bodies. They too easily become vessels we feed, water, and rest so they can continue to cart around our brains. We don’t pay attention to the information our bodies are sending us or the effect that forces such as stress are having—until real health problems set in.

Let’s take a small and simple step in the direction of paying our body the attention it is due. Consider taking just a few minutes—every day, if you can—to notice your own physicality. Not to judge your body or worry about it or push it harder at the gym, but to be in it.

Consider taking just a few minutes—every day, if…