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So we’ve all heard of IQ.  And EQ is gaining a bit more recognition in the public eye as we become more aware of our need for emotional intelligence.  But what’s BQ?

BQ, or body intelligence, is how well we are able to listen to our bodies.  It’s about tuning in to that subtle and profound wisdom that we carry around in our physical bodies that we have access to in every moment.  BQ is our ability to pay attention to our bodies’ cues and understanding how to manage them.  This is critical for knowing what we need and when we need it.  It’s one of the most important keys for great health and lasting happiness.

Every day, we have to deal with multiple stress points.  We get depleted, exhausted, distressed, etc.  Since we are surrounded by distractions and high energy stimuli, we often compensate by switching off or numbing out, doing what we can to turn the volume down.  The result is that sometimes we lose sight of our needs.  We don’t get enough sleep, or the right food, or enough activity.  In short, we forget to be kind to ourselves.

BQ is our ability to remain aware of our bodies, to notice the sensations that arise and listen to them.  When we can do that, especially when we make it instinctive, we enhance our happiness and quality of life.  And, like all things, it’s a practice.  The more often we make it a point to check in with ourselves and listen to what our body has to say, the more natural it is to notice it in the moment.

This is one of the central features of self-care that’s largely ignored or overlooked in modern society.  There are plenty of extremely intelligent people out there, some with a good sense of their emotions, who are unconscious of their bodies.  And their health suffers as a result.  We might put on extra weight, get fatigued, carry around ridiculous levels of stress, and even get sick if we leave it too long.  We sidestep our needs with coffee, sugar, or alcohol, compensating when we could be going to the source, feeling better not just now, but for the long run.

BQ is essential in every aspect of life.  Listening when our body asks us to take a break.  Getting still and checking in so we know when we need more sleep, or a good healthy meal.  When we need a bit more water or to get our body moving.  By listening, we can improve our productivity, sharpen our mind, and boost energy levels.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  Changing habits and learning to be more aware of our body is a practice.  But, if we’re willing to put in the time and effort, the rewards are improved productivity, better happiness, and improved health.

It doesn’t end there.  Another huge part of taking care of ourselves physically, is touch.  We need to feel, to have contact with others, or even to touch ourselves and awaken our sensations.  This is a way to become more conscious and more alive, to bring more joy into every moment that we experience.

Massage is a key part of taking care of ourselves on a physical level.  Touch is a form of self-love, a way of giving back to our body and nourishing ourselves with the affection that we need.  When we listen to our bodies’ needs for touch, we reduce stress and boost our levels of serotonin and oxytocin.  We actually become happier, healthier, and more confident.

So, with this in mind, here are a few simple pointers for boosting your BQ:

1. Check in

Take a few moments to regularly stop and listen to your body.  Drop what you’re doing and notice what you can.  Get still and tune in to the sensations.

2. Listen to the cues

Instead of just noticing the sensation, ask yourself what it means.  What is your body saying to you?  It might be asking for water, or food, or touch, or a bit of rest.  Learn how your body gives you these messages.

3. Do something about it

Your body’s cues are giving you a message, helping you to become aware of a need.  So, take action on what it tells you.  Drink some water.  Take a break.  Get moving.  Set up a massage so that you can get some nourishing touch.

It’s a simple as that.  And the more often you make it a point to stop and check in, the more instinctive it will become.  The beautiful thing is that the more you listen and give your body what it’s asking for, the healthier and happier you become.

In love and light,

Taranga.

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