Over the course of my younger years, I developed a habit of suppressing my emotions which led to the numbing of my body. At age 32-ish, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am the fourth generation on my mother's side to have had cancer (and the first to survive). In my healing, I learned that my cancer developed as a result of suppressed anger. Depression also runs in my ancestral line.
Because emotions are energy in motion (e-motion) they are meant to be felt and expressed. When emotions are suppressed, or otherwise unexpressed, their energies are stored in the body's tissues resulting in our cells vibrating at a slower, denser rate which can then lead to dysfunction in one form or another (e.g., physical pain, disease).
Listening to my body has meant that I had to de-numb it, which meant that I had to FEEL the emotions trapped inside. I learned that emotional releases were a good thing. I learned that not always did I need to make a mind-body connection in order for healing to take place. I learned that my cells were so tightly wound that working with my energetics felt like the consistency of tar. I'm now reaping the benefits. It's taken me many years of hard, laborious work to get to where I am now: vibrating pretty high and 90% pain free, and it just keeps getting better. I am nearly 58 and I feel 30. And I'm not even exercising regularly, yet!
Emotions are the core of all things. I can't express strongly enough how vital it is to our health and wellness to take care of our psycho-spiritual-emotional aspects, especially as we age. My goal is to age gracefully and to live to 125 (I have a lot of work left to do in this world) as vibrantly as possible.
Listening to my body has become a spiritual practice. I take the time to rest and meditate upon awakening, and at any other times throughout the day as my body dictates. Meditation allows me to go within to receive any messages my subconscious has for me to help me in my day. I also use my body to connect with my divinity and to stay in the flow. Upon awakening, I also check in with my mind-body to transmute any negative thoughts that my mind is transmitting. By doing this, I get out of bed with a positive and energetic mindset.
Learning to listen to my body also helps with decision-making. As a survivor of domestic violence, I experienced severe trauma and have been recovering for the past four years. It is startling how trauma adversely affects decision-making. I have learned to check in with my body when making decisions. It's important to make the right decisions because although "there are many answers to all things, not all answers are the right answer." I still have times when I change my mind often, but these are becoming less and less frequent as I become stronger in trusting myself. Trusting myself is founded upon listening to my body.