Have you seen the meme floating around where your mind and body are telling you to drink water, eat healthy and have a nap, and the person simply ignores it and continues to exist off coffee, little sleep and wine? It’s hilarious. And it’s hilarious because it’s so relatable to all of us to depend on copious amounts of coffee to get us through our daily grind. While coffee can give us, the energy fix we are so badly craving, the truth is tapping into our ability to be aware is so much more beneficial to our mind and body in the long run, and probably better for our wallets too.
Do you know what awareness is? Let’s start there.
Awareness can mean different things to different people. So, I encourage you to embrace what it means for you. To me, awareness is first wanting to learn how to listen, sense, feel and understand our thoughts, our body’s physical symptoms and our emotions. When you can learn how to listen and feel, you have the power to take action to shift any negative thoughts that don’t serve you. You can learn how to understand why you are suffering from different physical symptoms like cravings, low energy, bloating or weight struggles and take a different action to gain optimal health.
For example, you eat a certain food and then you get bloated. If you aren’t aware of your body, it’s quite difficult to figure out that by eating certain foods you’re going to experience feelings of bloating. And if you start to pay attention to how your body feels during and after eating, you will be far more likely to pinpoint if a specific food gives you a specific symptom. From there, you can choose to take different actions to balance your digestion or also get support from an expert who can guide you along – how empowering!
When you aren’t aware of your circumstances and feelings, you typically don’t act. But that’s okay, because when you don’t have knowledge and tools you must start somewhere. When you start to become aware, you are then able to do something about it.
I recommend you start building awareness with yourself. You are so worthy to have your power, your health, your happiness and everything you want in this life.
Here are three steps for you to start using to build awareness:
1. Start to schedule two to three check-ins with yourself in your schedule daily.
When you are building a new habit you often need reminders to make it top of mind. The reminder helps you to build awareness to stop and take a few minutes to check in with yourself. Once it’s top of mind, you will have the awareness to check in naturally.
2. Ask yourself some questions to help you understand how you feel physically and emotionally in that moment.
“How do I feel right now?” “Am I thirsty?” “Do I need a snack?” “On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being high, how are my energy levels?” “What kind of emotions am I feeling right now?”
You can pick questions that resonate with you. The key here is that you start to check in with your body and mind and ask yourself what it needs to operate at an optimal level. These questions are crafted specifically to you and your needs, rather than listening to or feeling pressed by what society thinks you need.
3. Respond to your questions by taking action to give to yourself what you need.
Take a drink of water, get out for a quick walk around the block to calm your mind or eat the snack if you are hungry. Make an intention that when you get home you will give more to yourself in the means of nourishment, self-care, relaxing or re-energizing based off of what you need. When you give to yourself, you feel empowered. You feel better physically and emotionally and that inspires you to want to keep doing it more and more.
To reach optimal health, you need to adopt practices of awareness. Awareness helps you build a healthy relationship with yourself and with others. Awareness helps you to set boundaries, to manage a balanced schedule, to run your business or to do your job with more ease because YOU feel energized, happy and confident enough to do so.
Repeat these steps as often as you like. The more you do these steps, the easier it will become to build awareness. Before you know it you will be so in tune with your needs and desires, you will be giving to yourself unconditionally all the time. As I encourage my clients, I encourage you to set an intention of what first action step you would like to take to build awareness.
There is no race to how long it should take you to build awareness, the key is just to get started building these habits.
I also encourage you to listen to Episode 97 of The No Sugarcoating Podcast where I talk more about the “Costs of Ignoring Our Body’s Symptoms,” as this takes the whole concept of awareness and our health to a deeper level. You can listen here.
Words by Amber Romaniuk