When did we stop listening to our bodies?


We’ve all heard the adage that we should drink nine glasses of water a day. But why do we need a guide for something as simple as keeping hydrated? Of course we all need water, but our bodies will tell us when and how much to drink, if we’ll only listen to them.

In today’s busy world, it is often hard to provide our bodies with all the nutrients they require to stay healthy. For many people, a typical day may start with a bowl of sugary cereal, followed by grabbing a sandwich to eat at our desks, and a ready meal at night. The media has also helped to fuel an obsession with weight, leading to lots of people not getting enough fat in their diet. Our bodies do their best to tell us when they need something, but the clues are often rather subtle and can be difficult to decipher.

How much easier it would be if we had a built in app that would flash up with a warning sign –recharge needed; virus detected; essential components missing… Instead we have to try to interpret small changes in our body, whether it’s ridges on fingernails (possible Vitamin B12 deficiency), psoriasis (can be stress-related) or feeling sluggish (can be linked to lack of exercise, or nutritional deficiencies).

All too often we ignore, or misinterpret what our bodies are trying to tell us. Rather than attempting to understand the reasons behind symptoms such as puffy eyes, lacklustre skin, brittle hair and so on, we just reach for another ‘quick-fix’ beauty product to alleviate them.

It doesn’t help that sometimes the signals our bodies give us aren’t always straightforward. For example, how many of us regularly crave something that we know isn’t good for us? White bread and sugary foods are good examples of this, as are addictive substances, such as cigarettes and alcohol. In these cases, the cravings are the warning signals that our bodies are confused and out of balance.

I’m certainly no different than anyone else, in that I’ve often let my body down, ignored warning signs, or attempted to treat the symptoms, not the cause. However, in recent years, I’ve become much better at paying attention to what my body is trying to tell me, and do try to follow its advice. (Except when it comes to chocolate – we all need a little treat now and then don’t we?)