There is an interesting phenomenon I have been learning about in the past few months: body language. No I do not mean understanding what other people are telling me with their body. I am talking about an internal dialogue, the power of our body to tell us what we need and guide us if we stop and open ourselves up to actually listening. I am definitely guilty of getting caught up in work, going for days on end with little sleep, indulging in food that isn’t good for me, and just generally physically and mentally neglecting myself. We all are. Often times it takes a serious health issue to wake us up or scare us straight. Or if we are lucky we come to these realizations naturally over time. Whatever the case may be, I see it as a form of study. We spend years learning how to read and write in our verbal language, the same must be the case for interpreting our individual body language.

The only one with the true decoder ring to translate is us, and in some more obvious cases our doctor. Just like any other language we must study, learn, practice and listen if we want to become fluent in our body language. The signs will tell us when we are hungry, sick, sad, in need of affection, tired, bored, etc. It tells us when we need to take a break, when we need to be alone and when to have company. However, when we aren’t in tune with our body’s frequency, wants can easily muddle up the messages our needs are sending us. Then we attach feelings and emotions to those wants and soon we verbalizing a “need” for chocolate or acting on a “need” for another drink, regardless of the truth that these are just wants in disguise. Acting on wants is a part of human nature and when handled with care is normal and healthy. It is when we don’t listen to our body’s basic needs that we are neglecting a powerful tool.

I have been learning to stop and listen. Learning to balance wants and needs in a healthier way. I am no expert. My biggest battle has been when it comes to eating too much and sleeping too little. Never wanting to miss out on experiences has led me to some very late nights out and indulging in way too much delicious food. As a result for the past week and a half I have had a cold. My body is fighting back. In its own language it is telling me to get my act together. I still not fluent, and sometimes I feel like a small child who is plugging her ears and screaming “I can’t hear you” when it says something I don’t want to hear, but I am taking time to study me. I have too much I look forward to doing and seeing, and I need a healthy body and mind in order to get there. Therefore, learning to speak my body language is of high priority on my list of things to do.