I would estimate 80% of the people I meet live in a zombified daze. I'm not talking about my clients, I'm talking about the general population. These people live month to month, looking forward to things in the future, totally disregarding the here and now. These people live unconsciously and this is dangerous, especially when it comes to our health as we stop being in tune with our bodies. Essentially, if you live unconsciously you stop listening. You do not realize when you're overweight your body is begging for you to be in shape. You do not realize when you're unhealthy your body wants you to be healthier. You do not notice the changes because you're not listening and you get stuck in a rut. So what does living consciously mean?
What it means
For me, it means being in tune with yourself. How many times a day do you sit and consciously think about how you're feeling? More importantly, how often do you think about why? For the majority of people the answer to this question will probably be never. That means consciously you'll never be ready to make changes needed to be healthy. Regardless of your weight or what you think of your own body image, if you're unhealthy your body will be trying to tell you. For instance, do you get out of breath completing the simplest of tasks? Do you get mouth ulcers frequently? Do you have spots? Is your skin dry? Do you get regular headaches? Have trouble sleeping? These are all simply signs, often ignored, from your body telling you something needs to change. There may be other contributing factors to these of course but the majority will be down to poor diet and a lack of exercise.
Why it's important
It's important to be conscious and start living consciously because every single second counts. Why look towards the future when you have the here and now? There really is no time like the present. That minute just gone, you'll never see it again, it does not come back. And unless you live in the world of witches and wizards you can not go back and change it. So if your body is telling you it's uncomfortable and it wants changes why not start to listen? I can not think of a single good reason not to. Your health is the bottom line here, you get one body and it generally looks after you well so reward it with the things it really wants like nutrients and a bit of movement. There are no quick fixes, just time and effort but you reap what you sow and if you make positive changes and listen to your body it will be saying thanks!
And if you're a regular exerciser and / or have a good diet already you should be looking to be in tune with your body too. Everyone is different so it may be that you might have to adjust your diet or exercise plan to get the best results, to have the most energy and to feel your best. If you do not listen you'll have no idea what works best for you. You will not know if you're overtraining and you will not know if you're doing damage.
How to do it
Firstly, stop making excuses. Everyone can find time for eating better, drinking more water and exercising. If it was as essential to life as breathing you would find time on a daily basis for it. Whilst you can survive without a good diet and without exercise why do you settle for just that? Why survive when you can feel great? Find the time and start to listen to yourself.
You can also make a diary. Work out when your energy levels are at their lowest, then think about why. Have you had enough water? Have you been eating little and often? Have you gotten up and done a little bit of exercise? All of these things will influence how you're feeling. Once you start making changes, track them. See how you feel in one month, two months time. Not after one day.
If you exercise already, do it more consciously. Try to do it without music for a change and listen to what your body is saying. Concentrate on your breathing, on your form, on getting the best out of your workout. Listen to the world around you too, it's a beautiful place, do not let it pass you by. And enjoy it! This is your time, you do not get it back so if you're not enjoying it then find something you do enjoy.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.