Last week, I talked about how to listen to your body, which perhaps was a rather backwards way to go about it, as maybe I should have first talked about the benefits of listening to your body.
Here are just a few reasons to fine tune the skill of listening to your body.
Track minuscule progress
When you’re in the midst of not feeling well every single stinking day, it can be hard to recognize progress when it comes. It’s easy to feel continually discouraged. We often think of progress in terms of large items – for example, being able to wash the dishes without help. But by paying attention you can encourage yourself with small progress that perhaps you wouldn’t notice if you weren’t taking the time to listen to your body. Perhaps you had a strenuous day and that evening you’re not quite as tired as you should be. Take time to notice it and celebrate it. Thank God for it. Don’t just ignore it. I think it’s easy for us to ignore small progress as we don’t want to get our hopes up that everything is getting better. It seems so much safer to wait until HUGE progress is made before we enjoy it. But that’s not really what it’s about. Big progress only happens with lots of incremental steps of often insignificant movement. Taking time to recognize what’s happening in the moment is important.
While this isn’t quite as fun to think about as tracking progress, this is just as important. By tracking setbacks you can be proactive in trying to find the correlation between activities, food, stress and other factors that can lead to diminishing returns. Then you can work to find ways to avoid, minimize or work around the things that contribute to setbacks.
Communicate with your doctors
Being able to communicate accurately with your doctors is huge. Going to the doctor while dealing with a chronic issue and just responding with “Okay” when the doctor asks you how you’re doing is simply not helpful! Unfortunately (or fortunately!) doctors are not mind readers and need all the help they can get when it comes to helping you towards better health.