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  • Writer's pictureKaren Hedley


Updated: Jul 27, 2020

The more the body senses comfort, the safer it feels.

Have you ever been on a road trip and although your lower back is cranky and your bladder is about to explode you push on for another 20 miles cursing at the two cups of coffee that you drank?

Have you ever been in a meditation class or yoga class sitting cross legged and after about 20 minutes both feet are tingling, both hips are in pain, one knee is screaming but you stay in the position because you’re “supposed to”?

I have.

What messages am I telling my body when I ignore the signal of discomfort or pain? I am telling the body, “I’m not listening to you right nowwwww. I have to do this! I am practicing discipline.” Or maybe, “I’m going to pretend that I don’t hear you even though you are screaming. Do what I say and sit still like the rest of the people in the class!”

Would you treat a friend like this?

Simply adjusting to comfort gives your body a whole new set of messages.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you make a big show of it and make a loud sigh and throw yourself on the floor while moaning in agony!

Simple adjustments.

Maybe shift the weight of your pelvis or extend one legI

If we listen for those early signals and adjust, then we don’t have to deal with a full blown 5 alarm both legs asleep, hips hurting, and knees crying.

Honor your body’s signals.

When you respond to your body’s signals, it sets up a feedback loop to the brain. The body says I hurt or I’m full or I’m tired. And we say Tough s***! The body will feel unsafe, insecure, and lock down even more.

BUT if we respond and adjust our body or stop eating or go to bed, then the body feels safe, secure, and comforted.

Comfort seems to get a bad rap in our culture. Who wants comfort? We want control and demands and sweat and tears. Push through it! Keep going! Power through! Don’t give up! Your body is a machine!

How’s that working for us?

With chronic stress and anti anxiety meds and anti depression meds and heart attacks? Did you know that most heart attacks happen 9 am Monday morning?

Finally the body has said,” Oh hell no. I’m not walking in there. I hate this job and I’ve been complaining for months with indigestion and sleepless nights and painful joints. But you have not listened, so I’m whipping out the big guns!”

Adjustments don't have to be quitting your job...unless of course, you want to quit your job. I'm talking about simple adjustments that show yourself that you care about yourself. It could be as simple as standing up and stretching after being at your computer for two hours or placing a pillow behind your back or adjusting your pillow so that your neck is comfy.

Seeking comfort isn't a sign of weakness. It is a sign of self care and therefore self love.

I discovered the more that I listened to my body and sought comfort, the more my body trusted me and could be easier and more fluid and more gentle. And whatever is going on with the body is reflected in the mind and spirit -- they are all connected. So, I became easier and more fluid and more gentle with the people in my life like my three kids.

And now, if I'm sitting in meditation and I start to feel my foot going to sleep, I simply extend that leg and give it a little wiggle. Ahhhh, so much better!

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