Communication is important in any relationship. If people do not communicate then chaos, or something like it, will ensue. A very important part of communication is listening. Being a good listener takes effort. It means being patient, putting aside what you have on your mind at the moment and intently listening to what the other person is saying. Nodding your head and using affirmative cues tell the other person that you respect what he or she is telling you, whether you agree or not.
One of my problems, pre-lifestyle change, was that my head, my heart and my stomach had a lot of miscommunication. The head and the stomach should be able to communicate effectively by themselves, but the heart likes to meddle. The heart created communication problems similar to the middle school dilemmas of “he said/she said confrontations”. My heart wanted to tell my stomach that because I was upset about something that my head was telling my stomach that I needed to eat., but the head said no such thing. And so I did eat. I listened to the lies that my heart was telling me. The heart had ulterior motives. What was really happening is that my heart was controlling my stomach and that’s out of order. The head should be in control, so if the heart has any concerns, it should tell the head. More than likely it’s an emotional issue that needs to be resolved between the head and the heart and the stomach doesn’t need to get involved.
Understanding our emotions is very important. Thinking about how we feel and why we feel that way is the first step to not letting your heart control your head and stomach. Listen to that nagging voice that says you don’t need “just one more” cookie. Ask your stomach if it’s truly hungry. More than often, if it’s not telling you it’s hungry then it’s probably not! And if you still want to eat- ask your heart why.
That is not to say that one is more important than the other. The head, the heart and the stomach all play important parts in the communication process and respect should be given to all three. The stomach speaks in ways that are very easy to determine. It growls. Say no more. The heart is a little more tricky. Sometimes there’s laughter, sometimes tears, and sometimes nothing at all. But the way you feel says it all. Emotions should not control eating, but for me, they often did and sometimes still do. The head is like that little guy on your shoulder telling you right from wrong. It’s your conscience. You head can logically determine what it is that you body needs if it is listening to the other parts.
But sometimes we chose to ignore what our body is saying to us. We don’t respect or acknowledge our emptions for what they are, we don’t listen to our stomach telling us not to eat certain foods (or so much of certain foods) when we get heartburn, sometimes we don’t just rest when we’re sick. Listening effectively is so important. Listen to your body. Respect what it’s telling you. Don’t let miscommunication lead to slipups in the path to healthy living.