You Know What? I Already Knew That: Learning To Listen To Those Instincts
Often, when we’re stressed, pulling our hair out and generally running ourselves into the ground, there are actually dozens of solutions staring us in the face that can make the situation so much better. There’s a gut feeling that says “If I organise my clothes for work tonight, the morning will be so much calmer” and a reminder that says “Don’t eat that chocolate bar, have a banana instead.” Trust me, this is my life. I struggle daily as I try to decide what I should listen to depending on my emotions at that time. As I get older, I can say that my sensible gluten-free gut is winning it out however this hasn’t always been the case.
We know what’s good for us and you know just as much as I do that this is true. It’s not really a brand new revelation that eating healthily and exercising regularly will have a positive impact on our minds and bodies. Likewise, we all know well that worrying about silly things is a total waste of time as we’re here for a ‘…good time, not a long time.’ SO, why do we ignore the sweet little angel on our shoulder and instead opt for the over-indulgent drama-loving devil on the other side?
For me, I feel it’s for a number of reasons. Mainly, I have a super short attention span and so, like change quite often and avoid boredom – hence, the need to ‘keep myself on my toes’. Moreover, I get tempted by naughtiness and don’t always (or haven’t always) thought of the long-term repercussions of my decisions (particularly when it comes to my health) but instead, only think of the short-term satisfaction. It’s only recently when I’ve started to suffer with my physical health, that I’ve felt the need to really nip bad habits.
Did I know I needed to kick such habits before? Yes. Why didn’t I? Well, I probably needed a bit of a wake up call to make it happen. In other words, there were no serious alarm bells and so I thought ‘Sure, it’s grand.’
In hindsight, I know that wasn’t the best strategy (or lack thereof) and actually, prevention is better than cure. My gut may not get as many sweeties however it sure feels more supported.
SO, what do we do when our gut is telling us something different to our naughty minds?
*Remember how it felt the last time you didn’t listen to it.
Sure, that cake looks super tempting however you’ve been here before, remember? After eating it, you felt unwell and regretted it. Or the time the gym was calling you but you decided to stay on the couch? Yeah, that didn’t feel great, did it? Associations are everything, pay attention to them.
*Make a plan, be prepared.
I find the times I’m more likely to give in to temptation and not follow through with a ‘should do’ is when I’m not organised. I don’t have any fruit in the fridge so I eat something rubbish instead. I haven’t set aside enough time for the gym so I end up spending time on Facebook instead. Make time, be organised and increase chances of following through.
*Be gentle with yourself.
Sometimes you know what you need to do (or not do) and yet, you go ahead and ignore. This can be seen as self-sabotage. Actually, it can be you needing to give yourself a break. Those instincts will still be there in the morning so for now, chill.
Everyday is another day to get it right. I find that as I get older and learn more about myself, who I am and how I tick, I recognise my instincts more. Knowledge is power.