Social Media and Your Body
Please watch The Social Dilemma. It will show you why we spend so much time on social media, what it is doing to our thinking, and the resulting social divide.
On a personal note, it helped partially explain to me why my brother-in-law and I, both good people, see the world so differently.
The reason I’m writing this Love Note though, is because the real take-away The Social Dilemma reminded me of, is the importance of learning to trust ourselves instead of our newsfeed.
Part of getting my PhD was learning how to gather, analyze, and manipulate data. Have you heard the phrase “the data doesn’t lie?” Data doesn’t, how people use it though, shapes what we see from the data. We see what the data presenter wants us to see.
Your body doesn’t lie.
Our body, if we learn to pay attention to it, tells us our response to a situation, not what someone wants us to believe.
Your body is more trustworthy than your phone.
If you are like most of my clients when they start working with me, you haven’t learned how to pay attention to your body’s wisdom.
That’s because most of us learned to not listen to what our body is telling us. That’s why we work when we are exhausted or sick, why we need coffee in the morning and sleep aids at night, why we do things for others even though we feel resentful.
Here are some statements I heard as a kid that taught me not to trust my own body. I’m sure you’ve heard similar, or maybe even worse, comments.
“You can’t be hungry, you just ate.”
“Don’t eat now. Wait until dinner.”
“Don’t be stupid, that’s nothing to feel bad about.”
“Sit still!” (I heard that one a lot as a kid with ADHD)
These comments told me what my body was feeling was wrong.
My parents and other authority figures weren’t bad people. They weren’t trying to create a lack of trust in myself. I was a lively little kid and what my body was doing wasn’t convenient for them.
I learned to be convenient, I learned to listen to them instead of my body. It helped them, and it kept me out of trouble.
It also cut me off from a huge source of wisdom. For 20 years I have been learning how to listen to my inner wisdom again.
How to do that, you ask? One tool I often use with my clients when they can’t decide what to do is this—
Close your eyes and pretend you’ve made your decision one way, and notice how your body feels. Do you feel tension, heaviness, a sense of dread? Do you feel lighter, calmer, a sense of moving forward? Do you feel contracted or expanded?
Open your eyes. Then close them again, this time pretend you made the other choice (we are often deciding between two choices) and notice how your body responds this time.
Your body is giving you information about your choice. Which decision feels better?
When trying to decide something, I gather information using my mind and my body. When they agree, I go for it. If they conflict, I frequently choose my body’s response. I have found over the decades things work out better when I do. Most important, I have learned to trust my body, and myself more.