04 Aug Tuning into Your Body
When we are using and in the midst of our disease, we are so far removed from ourselves that we fail to realize how much damage we do to our bodies. We fail to recognize that we are degrading, deserting, and eroding both our physical body and our spirit.
Upon getting sober, we suddenly are faced with a new and difficult challenge: how, after years of self-abuse, do we learn to care for, respect, and love ourselves?
Just as we make living amends to those who we have wronged or hurt, we must make a living amends to our bodies as well. We must honor ourselves and start to treat our bodies with the love that we did not exhibit in our using. This means listening to our bodies, getting back in tune with ourselves and our needs.
[su_box title=”Ways to get back in tune with and honor your body:” style=”glass” box_color=”#22687b”]
1. Pause: We often get caught up in the day to day or the stress of work, life, friends, etc. and forget to listen to our bodies. Pause, take a breath, and listen. Feel. Are you hungry? Thirsty? Stressed? Tired? Listen to what your body is telling you and then practice following that feeling. If you are stressed, do some deep breathing or meditation, hungry, then eat! Sounds easy but it’s amazing how out of tune we get when we are using.
2. Be Mindful: Notice trends. If there is a certain time of day that you crash or you notice that you do not feel quite right at specific times, tune in to that. Pay attention. Perhaps you need better foods to fuel your body to avoid sugar crashes. Maybe you need to stay away from people who wear you out or make you stressed. Test out your hypothesis and see if making changes in turn make you feel better. Feeling good can take you a long way, and conversely, feeling badly can be really destructive, especially over a long period of time.
3. Eat Clean: Remember that the kind of food that you put in your body can have a HUGE impact on your happiness and health. Foods that offer no nutritional value or that are packed with sugar will without a doubt leave you feeling hungry, tired, or cranky. Avoid eating crap or stress-eating and instead be mindful.
4. Watch the Caffeine: In sobriety we tend to seriously abuse caffeine. I have never seen so many people so hooked on coffee and energy drinks. Our bodies become hooked on caffeine, which can make us irritable, uncomfortable, angry, or even shaky when we don’t have it. Try to create energy through other avenues, like eating better, exercising, and getting more rest. You will be amazed at how much better your body and mind feel without that added caffeine buzz.
5. Practice Positive Thinking: We live in a society where image is everything, and where more often than not we are incredibly hard on ourselves. Instead of.[/su_box]
One of the hardest lessons that I have had to learn (over and over again) in sobriety is that love, respect, happiness, and gratitude all start within. Take it a day at a time, easy does it. Just don’t leave before the miracle happens.