Most of us lead from the intellect. Last month we talked about connecting to the heart, where feeling, connection and empathy lie. This month it might be interesting to allow another part of ourselves to have a bigger say in our lives. December can be a challenging month. Colder temperatures, preparing for the holidays, a busy calendar with holiday festivities added on top of it, holiday travel, and year end preparations can add up to a lot of stress. In many parts of the world it’s also flu season. Our advice? Listen to your body and heed its messages.
The body often detects potentially damaging stress before your mind does. “Listening to your body’s signals can help prevent bigger health problems,” says Judith Orloff, MD, a psychiatrist at UCLA and author of Second Sight. Take a minute periodically to quiet your mind and listen to your body. If it is telling you to slow down, try and catch a power nap. Holiday shopping giving you a headache? Take a break and drink some water, or refuel in some other way that meets your body’s needs.
Likewise, if you’re at a party and the music calls you to dance, go for it! Movement produces endorphins that can reduce stress and its negative impacts. Tired of sitting at a desk? Get up and stretch.
Let your body be your guide this month and see what difference it makes. Let us know how it goes!