• Lou Lim, LMHC, REAT

What Is Your Body Telling You?

How often do you take a cue from your body? Listening to our bodies can be both easy and difficult. When your body needs to use the restroom, you will likely listen to that need and act on it by finding a restroom. But when your body feels pain or resistance, do you listen to your body, see what it needs, and address that need?

When your body has a jolt of pain or begins to nag the rest of your physical being, it may be trying to say to slow down or stop what you’re doing. When the stomach rumbles or you feel thirsty, your body may be reminding you to stop what you’re doing to eat or drink something. Heavy eyes could be a sign that your body is tired and needs some rest.

There are times where you might not have the luxury of taking care of your body due to a circumstance beyond your control. But it's always worth noticing that your body is giving you information, pausing to see what it needs, and taking action whenever possible. That might mean calling out sick or leaving work early for the day due to illness. It could mean exercising restraint during a meal so you don't have a stomachache or indigestion later in the night. There are even times when the body wants to cry, and making space to shed a tear can be a healthy release versus holding it in.

Rather than telling yourself, “I can do that later” or “now is not a good time to stop,” notice your body and see what it needs. What it’s asking for might be just the thing you need to get through the day.

Lou Lim is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.

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