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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Is Your Mind Connected to Your Body? (Quiz)

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How's your mindfulness practice going?  

One area I really struggle with is the mind-body connection.  

I've at least gotten better about taking a break when I have the flu rather than pushing myself to keep up with my work (thereby making myself a whole lot  sicker for a whole lot longer). 

But my husband still keeps threatening to bubble wrap me whenever I'm tired, so I won't get any more bruises from walking into things.  (He also insists he doesn't relocate the doorways while my back is turned.)

Here's a quiz to help you measure the strength of your own mind-body connection, followed by suggestions for practices you might find useful.

Is Your Mind Connected to Your Body?

Answer True or False to the following statements.

___1. I tend to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full.

___2. When I feel tired, I frequently bump into things like furniture and doorways.

___3. I can clearly tell the difference between my body feeling nauseated or extremely hungry.

___4. I typically eat while doing something else.

___5. I’m pretty good about finding a way to get some rest when I need it.

___6. I tend to injure myself when I play sports or try other physical activities.

___7. When I’m stretching, I can feel the edge between pushing too hard or not enough.

___8. I (over)eat comfort foods whenever I’m upset.

___9. I frequently engage in a body-based mindfulness practice like yoga, body scan, or mindful walking.

___10. I often believe I don’t have time to eat, sleep, drink water, or take care of other basic biological needs.

Scoring:  Give yourself +1 point every time you answered "true" to an odd-numbered statement.  Subtract 1 point every time you answered "true" to an even-numbered statement.

If your score is 3-5: Wow!  You seem to have a strong mind-body connection.  

You might want to try the quizzes How Mindful Am I? and What's the Best Mindfulness Practice for Me? to see where you could use more practice.

If your score is 0-2:  This is pretty typical.  It can be hard to focus on our bodies and our surroundings when we're caught up in our daily activities and the constant bombardment of information and entertainment.  

Doing a Body Scan will help you notice any signals your body might be trying to send you.  And Trying on Different Shapes can help you notice how your mood could be affected by how you carry yourself.  (It's also a great excuse to focus on improving our posture; a big challenge for most of us as we hunch over our phones or computers all day.)

If your score is -1 to -5:  
Oh, dear.  You sound like me!  

You might want to start a Five Senses Mindfulness Log to help you focus more on your physical sensations.  

If mindful eating is a challenge, try filling in the Five Senses Snack chart.

And taking a Rainbow Walk or Counting Sounds Walk will help you to get some safe, gentle exercise while focusing on your surroundings.