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Listen to your body talk!

Having a human body is a blessing; so much so that I think it should to be at the top of every person’s gratitude list every single day. And if you don’t have a gratitude list, it’s the best reason I can think of to start one. After all, your body is the only vehicle that allows you to experience life as you know it; the only means by which you can interact with the physical world.

Your body is a complex system of organs, tissues, and cells that allow you to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch the world around you. Without your body, you wouldn’t be able to feel the warmth of a hug or enjoy a good meal. You could not walk or get yourself in and out of a vehicle. How would you enjoy sports or entertainment without a body? How would you communicate or experience pleasure?

No one would argue that your body is the key to your livelihood. But the sad reality is that many of us don’t pay attention to this highly sophisticated machine until we are not feeling well. And even then, we don’t appreciate all the things it does right for us to get through whatever it is we’re experiencing. Instead, when we are sick, we waste time complaining about what is going wrong.

I’ve had the flu once that I can remember, long before I began practicing grateful living. It was a bad strain of the flu, the kind that kept me in bed for two weeks with a raw, painful, hacking cough, body aches, sweats, chills, and no appetite, I was too weak and helpless to even shower, let alone do any of the things that super moms do. And during that two week period, not once did I stop to thank the body parts that kept functioning at optimal level to get me through the sick spell. I didn’t think about what I could have done to prevent getting sick in the first place. And more importantly, I paid no attention to my body’s warning that things were about to go awry.

The body’s incredible complexity is also what gives it the ability to recognize and warn us when we’re about to get sick. The first red flag, the one that most of us ignore is changes in our energy level. When the flu bug bit me, I was too busy to recognize when I was tired. I was too hard pressed for time to rest. I had it in my hard head that a few hours of sleep was enough to keep me going. And it wasn’t until I my body said, “Enough Myrtle. I warned you but you didn’t listen so now I’ll have to show you what you need. And I promise you that you are not going to like it.”

Growing up, my mother had a saying when we kids got out of line or just plain acted a fool. She would say, “A hard head makes a soft back end” (she didn’t curse so she chose “backend” over a$$). Lord knows she was right. When we overwork our body, it starts to conserve energy in order to fight the ensuing illness which means you may find yourself feeling more tired than normal, even after a full night of sleep. And if you continue to ignore its warning signs, you are likely to find yourself flat on your back, begging for mercy. Yeap, when we ignore the body’s warning signs, it will step in and make us rest and the longer the rest, the softer the a$$ gets.

Our body is always communicating with us, letting us know when things are about to go wrong.

10 signals that indicate that your body needs attention:

1. Fatigue

2. Difficulty sleeping

3. Loss of appetite

4. Sudden weight loss or gain

5. Unexplained skin rashes

6. Persistent headaches, body aches and pains

7. Repeated colds

8. Sudden weight gain

9. Anxiety/Panic attacks

10. Chest pain and unexplained shortness of breath

It’s important to listen to your body talk and respond to it cues in positive ways. It’s a step toward showing your body some well deserved gratitude and preventing breakdown that lands you on your backend, unable to fully explore and appreciate the world around us?

5 ways to show your body more appreciation:

1. Pay attention to the warning signs that the body is about to malfunction

2. Practice body self-care:

a. get enough sleep

b. drink enough water

c. eat nutritious meals and snacks

d. engage in regular physical activity 20-30 minutes a day at least 3-5 days a week

3. Seek professional help when needed

4. Get regular health screenings

5. Practice gratitude for your body by starting a gratitude journal. Take a few minutes each day to list the wonderful ways your body has made it possible for you to experience life. It’s a small change that leads to BIG RESULTS!

Your body is an amazing creation and deserves to be treated with love and respect. After all, it’s the only one you’re ever going to get!

P.S. If you’re ready for more in depth services, look in my small change Toolkit or email me at

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After recently retiring from four decades of service in the health field as a nurse and public health administrator, I created the small change Toolkit, a set of transformational tools designed to hel

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