This episode of the podcast helps you understand the benefits and challenges of building body awareness, with some tips on how to get started.

Body awareness is the first pillar of Body Intelligence. It is the foundation of all healthy habits. 

It is a simple yet powerful tool that is easily overlooked or pushed down your priority list.

What is Body Awareness?

Body awareness is simply paying attention to the signals that your body gives you. It’s another way of talking about mindfulness but in relation to your body.

And I want to talk about a few examples so that you really understand what it might involve. Here might be a typical day and where body awareness fits in.

Let’s say you wake up in the morning and the first thing you notice is that you have pretty dry, sleepy eyes so you rub your eyes to get to sleep out of them.

And then you realise you’re a bit thirsty maybe you had your mouth open last night so you have a drink of water because your body has told you that your mouth is dry and you’re attending to that need. 

Next you notice your stomach growling and you feel a sense of hunger so it’s time to have something that you know will sustain you for the morning.

All is good so far, but as soon as you realise that you need to get on with getting to work, your focus shifts to other things and your body’s gentle, subtle signals get lost in the noise.

Having worked with my Habitology members this month, we’ve discussed some interesting things that we’ve all noticed.

One realised that she just needed to take breaks to eat more often.

Another discovered that she had been pushing herself too hard and ignoring the signals.

One noticed how calm she has been feeling.

Another noticed how much more clarity she has because it’s caused her to slow down.

I noticed that when I drink water late in the afternoon, my stomach is settled and I wake up more energized the next day.

Can you see a trend here?

The Benefits of Building Body Awareness

As you can see the main benefit of building body awareness seems to be that being aware means that you will more likely take action to attend your needs better.

But what of that? Why is that important?

That’s actually where the real gold nuggets lie – in the benefits of being aware enough to commit to taking action.

  • You squash imposter syndrome

If you think about it, the first benefit for you if you’re a coach is that you truly feel like a role model for your clients. 

When I ask coaches I’m working with what their number 1 struggle in business is, they say that it’s maintaining emotional balance. 

They say that inadequate self care is a recipe for catastrophizing, judgement, fear, anxiety and lying awake at night ruminating.  All that can be largely avoided or at least tamed with some body awareness.

  • Freeing up creative thinking

What was (not so) surprising was that self-care reduces stress and anxiety, so you have more space for creative thinking.

And let’s face it, business is largely creative, and stress is the opposite of creativity. A little awareness can be a game changer in this regard. 

  • More healthy choices, more often

Being body aware means you’re noticing whether you’re moving enough and eating for hunger rather than boredom or stress. It means smarter alcohol, coffee and chocolate consumption.

I’m sure the cumulative benefits of those things are pretty clear – a healthier, calmer body and brain that ages well, has more energy and maintains a healthy weight.

There are many more benefits, but these are enough to start with and their big, juicy benefits.

How would YOU feel if you could achieve even just ONE of these four benefits?

The Challenges of Building Body Awareness

The main challenge around building body awareness is that you have an existing pattern of being distracted by other things – it’s easy to shift your attention away from your inner signals and to lose focus.

You may also be in the habit of convincing yourself that something else is more important than attending to your body’s needs in the moment – without stopping to think about the bigger impacts and consequences of this decision.

But the great news I want to share with you is that these two things are just HABITS.

They’re thinking habits you have, and you can unlearn them.

You can rewire them.

When you go back and think big picture about the benefits of using your BA on a daily basis, then it’s a no brainer to do some simple, menial tasks to rewire your thinking and get back onto the BA bandwagon.

Seven Tips for Building Body Awareness

Here are some tips to help you build body awareness, so that you can live more of your life, be more productive and feel happier and healthier.

I suggest you create a simple schedule around these things and use reminders to start building these new habits to improve your BA over time.

Tip 1 – schedule 5 minutes in the middle of the day to write down 3 negative thoughts you’ve had and rewrite them as facts.  

Tip 2 – set an alarm to do a body scan at morning tea, afternoon tea and after dinner to notice how your body is feeling.

Tip 3 – set a reminder or diarise a check in with how you feel emotionally at 1pm – good or bad, reflect on the possible influences and decide what you might have done more or less of to influence that result. 

Tip 4 – write in a journal four mornings or nights per week before bed – even a few lines is enough.

Tip 5 – work with a coach to speak out loud about your body awareness and set individual goals.

Tip 6 – meditate 1 – 5 times per week using an app like Headspace if you need assistance.

Tip 7 – use mindfulness each day to bring your awareness to your five senses – choose a random moment to notice what you see, hear, smell, taste, feel and sense.

Body awareness is simply paying attention to the signals that your body gives you. It’s another way of talking about mindfulness but in relation to your body.

Summary

Body awareness is a simple yet powerful tool that is easily overlooked or pushed down your priority list.

But if you use 1 – 3 practices each week to raise your BA, it’s highly likely that you will sleep better, have less anxiety, eat more healthily, feel calmer, feel like a good role model, have clearer thinking, feel more empowered and in control, and make better, more rational decisions in your life.

If you would like to talk to a coach about raising your BA, go to the contact page at www.melaniejwhite.com now and fill in the form.

Ready to improve your body awareness?

You can live more of your life, be more productive and feel happier and healthier. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here: