Are We Listening To Our Bodies?
Are We Listening To Our Bodies?
Taking charge of our hormone health - Dr Vignesh Devraj
Understanding The Root Cause Of Hormonal Disorders
Our bodies first whisper, and when we don’t listen, they scream. It is the screaming that manifests as hormonal and metabolic disorders. The ability to listen to the feedback mechanism of our bodies is at the heart of being healthy.
For a healthy life, it is very important to stay tuned to our body’s natural urges and make space for them. According to Ayurveda, whenever the natural urges are suppressed, it leads to a condition called Udhawartham - whirlpool, which is the origin of diseases. Suppressing the following natural urges like passing stool, gas, cough, sleep, hunger, thirst, breath, urination, seminal fluid, vomiting, sneezing, crying, and yawning over a long period of time can lead to Udhawartham.
Apart from the physical urges, emotional and mental cravings for love, connection, freedom of expression, peace of mind and security are also at the core of staying healthy. Instead of receiving the messages from our bodies and acting accordingly, most people tend to judge the urges and suppress them. This is the underlying cause of most diseases.
The Role of Stress Hormones
Hormones are powerful activators for important functions in our body, and each one has a crucial function. Among them, Adrenaline and Cortisol are released when our body senses a threat. These hormones provide the extra energy surge we need to get away from danger. When these hormones are released, our bodies shut down all vital organs and mobilise the energy for survival purposes. The body’s logic behind this is to first help you save yourself, then worry about everything else.
Staying in a constant state of threat means always being in a survival mode, and not allowing our bodies to consciously relax and recover. Over a period of time, this leads to severe hormonal disorders and chronic diseases.
The Role of Lifestyle
It is important to understand that our bodies sense threats in a different way from how our minds process threats. For the body, there is no difference between real or perceived threats.
Lifestyle habits like staying up late, stress addiction, being in emotionally toxic environments or abusive relationships are all threats to our bodies. In such a lifestyle, our bodies are constantly being in survival mode.
Recovery is not only possible, but it is completely up to us. It begins with consciously pausing, asking ourselves what we need and intentionally providing it to ourselves. It could be nutrition, rest, more fulfilling relationships, security or cultivating the ability to express one’s emotion freely.
The process of healing can look different for each person. And only by paying attention to our own bodies, we can chart out our recovery plan.
An Example Of Listening To Our Physical Urges
What you feel - You feel tired, and have low energy.
What you should do - Ask yourself why you are tired, and consciously relax to replenish your energy.
What not to do - Have coffee, and start masking the symptoms of tiredness.
Coffee does not cure tiredness, it gives you a false sense of energy. The underlying need for rest is simply going to accumulate and come back with a vengeance.
An Example Of Listening To Our Emotional Urges
What you feel - You feel on edge around someone, or a particularly toxic environment leaves you anxious and hyper-vigilant.
What you should do - Pay attention to what boundaries are being crossed, and why you are feeling the way you do. Understanding and improving the situation can look like either cutting off an abusive relationship, or communicating and resolving the issue.
What not to do - Suppressing the emotions either due to social pressure, or fear of confronting and not acting in accordance with how you feel.
When we suppress our urges, they don’t go away. They just keep getting stronger and come back with more force. One way or the other, you will have to confront them. Paying attention to what our body is communicating, and respecting our body is the foundation to staying healthy.
Dr Vignesh Devraj is a fourth-generation Ayurvedic healer. He is the founder and chief physician of Sitaram Beach Retreat, Kerala – a space for authentic healing and transformation. Sitaram Ayurveda has a 100 year legacy in Ayurvedic practice and healing. He also has a weekly podcast on Ayurvedic wisdom and insights @ Ayurvedic Healing and Beyond. You can connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org