Self-Care and My Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop

Thinking about self-care conjures up different things for different people and I have recently been spending a bit of time really thinking about what self-care means to me, how it works and most importantly, how do I know I’m doing it (and doing it right?).

Although I have always known it, it occurred to me that my amazing body is my very own Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop. Wow! What technology!

Whilst my awesome Automatic Feedback Loop is a highly advanced piece of technology, with fine-tuning settings that far exceed those of the greatest sports car or the most highly refined stereo, my care-less self-actions have a major impact on my body’s beautiful ability to receive these messages.

So, what exactly does this feedback loop have the ability to communicate with me about, and how does it do so? Well, it provides me with feedback constantly, in every moment of my day. I have the choice to listen or not.

Some examples I have noticed are:

  • Mood – I notice that when I do not eat well or sleep as I need to that my mood can highlight this to me very clearly. I can become snappy and irritable, or feel a bit depressive, or even anxious.
  • Breath – When I eat food that is not right for me, or when I do not drink enough water, my breath can get its own little ‘pong’ on. Try ignoring that!
  • Weight – Well, my clothes tell me a very definite story about whether what I’ve been putting into my body is right for me or not. No escaping that one!
  • Hands – When I am not present in my day-to-day activities, I will often knock or bump my hands. I end up with little sores that last for weeks. They are a reminder for me to reconnect with myself and to be present as I go about my day.
  • Energy – My energy levels are affected by what I eat, how much sleep I get, how I choose to react to some situations rather than observe and respond.
  • Back pain – This will often signal to me when I have lifted more than I feel is right for me, or when I have been sitting or walking for too long or not exercising enough.
  • Skin – When eating foods that are not right for me, my skin will scream it, loud and clear. Pimples erupt and last weeks longer than the momentary pleasure or escape I experienced from eating things that my body needed to process out via pimples.
  • Bowel/Bladder – Well, if it smells, is too hard, too soft, too much, or too little, I know that there is a message I need to listen to, and something I need to adjust (e.g., drink more water, eat more vegetables).
  • Intuition – When I make a choice that is not right for me, I feel it in my body, from subtle unease to feeling physically ill.

Years ago, I thought that my body needed a lot to keep it going throughout the day. I’d wake at 7am and have a coffee paired with a cigarette (or two), then another coffee with breakfast and another cigarette… fruit to get me through to lunch… a heavy lunch… more coffee… a cigarette… a cup of tea… afternoon tea, (biscuits, chips or lollies anyone?). Then home for dinner, which may have been a dish with pasta or rice followed by chocolate and another cigarette and a few hours in front of the TV.

I would then get to bed by about 11pm, have trouble getting to sleep, and wake up again the next morning feeling tired and groggy. On the weekends I drank alcohol and ate as I pleased. It’s no wonder I needed all of the sugar and stimulation from caffeine to keep myself going.

I allowed relationships that were not healthy and I accepted abuse from other people. My Automatic Feedback Loop was giving me signals that what I was doing was not working, but the transmission was a bit fuzzy. I was carrying a lot of extra weight, I looked bloated, I was regularly constipated and had intense stomach cramps, I was tired and had no energy and my skin regularly broke out. My self-esteem was low and I felt ugly and unworthy.

I wonder now what other feedback my body was giving me that I couldn’t hear over all of the louder feedback. It was a bit like being in a big hall when there are a thousand people inside and a presenter is speaking without a microphone. If the crowd is silent, it is so easy to hear the speaker, but if every member of the crowd is speaking as well, then nobody can hear the presenter unless they are standing right next to them. When I was doing all of those things to my body, I couldn’t hear the more subtle messages that my body was telling me.

Fast forward to now, and my life and habits look very different to how they once were. I don’t smoke anymore and I now end my days with an early bedtime. When my body feels tired, I listen (most of the time!) and respect what I am being told my by Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop and I go to sleep. I wake up earlier now, feeling more ready to face the day. I eat a breakfast that feels good in my body. I stopped drinking coffee after a little while of listening to my Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop because it gave me some startling feedback: coffee makes me feel a bit jittery. I don’t like that feeling, so after a bit of tussling with myself, I stopped putting it in.

I still eat fruit during the day, but am more selective about which fruit I choose because some fruits are more sugary than others and when listening to my feedback loop, I notice that the sugar can be too much for me. I no longer eat pasta and rice or drink milk because of the feedback I got about how these things affect my body. I feel a slight swelling in my stomach, and dairy gives me pimples and wreaks havoc on my digestive system. I choose my relationships carefully now, and the relationships I choose are those where I feel a deep mutual respect and care.

One of the more subtle messages I never noticed before was the response I got from my body about chocolate. When I was a regular drinker of coffee and caffeinated tea, I never noticed what happened when I ate chocolate. As I gradually removed coffee from my diet, I noticed that I still had the jittery feeling that I so wanted to eliminate. Lying on my bed one day, feeling quite serene, I ate a chocolate bar. It tasted great! Afterwards as I lay there I noticed that I got the jitters – a very subtle feeling, but a feeling that I did not like. I recognised it as the caffeine jitters. But as far as I was aware, I hadn’t had any caffeine, had I? It took a conversation with my partner to remind me that chocolate contains caffeine – Ah ha!

So, what does all of this have to do with self-care? Well, my Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop is, I have realised, my self-care activation and alert system.

When I am not engaged in self-care then my Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop tells me, pretty much straight away:

  • Have some caffeine – and the jitters start.
  • Eat some dairy – and listen to my tummy rumble .
  • Go to bed too late – and feel cranky the next day.
  • And if I put too much into my system –it gets harder to hear the feedback.

What happens when I listen to the communication from my Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop?

  • I eat well and my mood stabilises – I sleep peacefully.
  • Breath – no pong.
  • Weight – I feel great in my clothes – everything fits and feels the right size.
  • Energy – my energy stabilises – I could work twice the hours I do at work as I don’t have ‘highs’ or ‘lows’ in my energy (or my mood).
  • Skin – I glow!
  • Bowel/Bladder – quick and easy with little odour trail to speak of.
  • Intuition – when I make a choice that is right for me it feels good – I feel good! 

This list goes on. And this is my list. This is feedback from My Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop. What is yours telling you?

By Monica Hattendorff, Newcastle, Australia

Related Reading:
Listening to My Body
What’s All the Fuss about Self-Care?
What Does My Body Know?

471 thoughts on “Self-Care and My Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop

  1. Great examples of how we can be curious and observe our experiences in life as feedback loops – worth taking a moment to feel what message and learning we are being offered in the reflection.

  2. “Intuition – When I make a choice that is not right for me, I feel it in my body, from subtle unease to feeling physically ill.” That subtle unease is a good indicator but like you, I have to keep my body not overloaded to feel the subtle ones…and then when I miss/dont listen, the unease escalates to a situation where I cannot but listen to my body.

  3. It’s interesting how we view things…do we first go to the negative or positive and is what we choose true? I am seeing how a spot on my lip can be a cause for criticism because I have done something to cause this and it can also be a celebration that my body is able to release and let go. Whatever- it allows me to ponder on the fact that the spot is there – where it is and how it feels – and allows me to deepen the love and compassion I have for myself and in turn all others.

    1. Yes I agree when something happens and the body sends us a loud and clear message we dont have to go into guilt or self judgement but simply accept it as an honest reality check and learn from the experience and make changes to our lifestyle accordingly.

    2. I love the words you use here elainearthey
      “allows me to deepen the love and compassion I have for myself and in turn all others.”
      It was the word compassion that caught my attention as so often we have no compassion towards ourselves could this lack of compassion then be one of the reasons we abuse our bodies?

  4. Rather than stimulating or dulling our nervous system we can rely on our whole body intelligence to communicate how to respond in life, simply beautiful.

  5. Monica – love how you have written this blog – it goes to show we all have this amazing technology that we walk around with on a day to day basis – but how many of us actually make use of it as much as we could?

  6. There are two that I have been noticing more recently: if I hold back my expression, my chest feels tight and hard and my mind starts to get bombarded with some thoughts that would feed anger or sadness; and if I get into drive, wanting recognition or approval, my right arm gets extremely painful – from the top of the shoulder to the forearm, it can be quite intense. It’s wonderful that our body is so vocal, but I probably should start making choices so that the body does not have to shout so much.

  7. What incredible technology… This amazing inbuilt awareness… Imagine if this was marketed the way they market the new high-tech cars.. it would be an absolute sensation 🙂

  8. Hi Monica, ‘Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop’s are something we all have and are something we all can be challenged by. There are times I don’t want to know what is being communicated to me but when I stop and listen and adjust my diet, time schedule, patterns/habit in response to it, it feeds back the most amazing warmth in my body that is so confirming. Many years passed where I did not honour this feedback system as I felt everyone and every other piece of information coming at me was so much wiser than my feedback loop, but now I realise that mine may be different to another’s but it is my own and the rewards of listening to it are confirming every moment of who I truly am.

  9. We do a lot of things on ‘automatic’ but what you are describing here about a self-care automatic feedback loop feels very true and supportive for the body.

  10. The nauseous, tiredness, lethargy and a feeling of giving up are all symptoms my body communicates with me when I have made choices that have not supported me but I cannot avoid or react to situations or events but to learn the changes I am to make that truly supports my body and where I am at, letting go of any attachments that get in the way of the loving movements I deserve to make for self.

  11. Love the automatic feed back loop, because we all have one if we are prepared to listen to how the body is whenever we eat, drink or go about our daily livingness, and self care is all about making choices based on how they affect our body.

  12. I love how practical and sensible self-care is. How anybody can do it and how it is not dependant on any other factors other than the simple caring choices that one makes.

  13. Great question and one I clearly needed to ask again as I don’t remember reading this before today!! Our inbuilt feedback look is so personal and specific and completely totally and utterly on our side 🙂

    1. And it’s also absurd and ironic how much time and energy goes into wanting to fix others! When we place our attention on wanting others to fix us or needing to fix others we lose sight of the inbuilt automatic feedback loop which is constantly communicating with us our next move to support us.

  14. And their are so many aspects to our Inbuilt feedback loop – for me the biggest indicators are how I feel in myself, so if I feel down or great, or the tenderness in my hands, or if I’m even aware of my breath. There are so many things … we literally get non stop feedback – we just have to ensure that our minds and our thoughts are not incessantly interrupting the loop.

  15. Paying attention to the inbuilt automatic feedback loop is a choice that requires previous choices that prepare our body to go there and an ulterior choice to be open to what the body has to tell us.

  16. It is a very loving choice to listen to the wisdom of our bodies, if we don’t we override these clear messages and poison it with our unloving choices.

    1. So true Anna. Our body is our natural gage and can act as our our compass directing us to a more refined way of being and greater vitality and joy in life.

  17. I love our inbuilt feedback look being a fine tuned racing car. If we are ready to get really familiar with the signal board we will be expert technicians.

  18. When you stop and think about it as a collective society there are an awful lot of stimulants available in the way of coffee, various foods, drama and our excessive emotions that make us racy and jittery in a vain attempt to pep us up so we can continue to deny the tiredness and sometimes sheer exhaustion we feel.

  19. When we choose to disconnect from ourselves and go into our mind, our actions become care-less because we have separated from our natural flow unable to pick up the body’s messages, from dulling our awareness, to be able to feel and understand what our body is truly communicating.

  20. What’s pretty amazing is that the more we listen to our bodies, and act on those messages, the more attuned we become to more, finer and detailed messages. Sometimes it feels like our bodies are becoming more sensitive, but perhaps it’s time to consider that it’s our awareness of that sensitivity that changes and increases. Our bodies feel and record everything, it’s just our awareness of our choices and their impact that either increases or diminishes, according to how we’re living, moment to moment.

  21. For me, it is becoming more aware of those beliefs and ideals which I have taken on and which I allow to get in the way of making a true choice that will support me eg. I can do everything, not asking for support when it is needed, putting another before myself etc, etc. that I need to surrender more deeply and let go of. These beliefs are so abusive to my body.

  22. ‘what I was doing was not working’ … and that’s what our bodies continuously and patiently show us, the most honest feedback on what we’ve done and it’s impact on us, and they never stop no matter what. Thank God for our bodies and for Universal Medicine who’s inspired me to develop a more honest and deeper relationship with my body.

  23. What is shared here is the absolute wisdom that our bodies have. Choosing to honour what the body feels is a vital step that needs to be taken if health, vitality and a feeling of constant steadiness is to be again the way we, as human beings live.

  24. And every adult who embraces this awareness will be able to pass this on to their children, and then we will have lives being lived in the fullness and in the connection that is the truthful way of being… The way of truly living… The way of the Livingness.

  25. We have a series of Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loops… another one is when we connect to our voices, we can have an immediate feedback on where we are energetically… truly amazing!

    1. Yes Chris, just observing our tone of voice and how we respond/react to others can be very revealing. Being compassionate with ourselves we can unpick ways of expressing and/or communicating and release old emotions or ways of being that are ready to go, leaving us lighter, with more freedom and power.

  26. Every single choice we make, makes a difference and our body, very wisely will communicate everything to us. Sometimes loud and clear and at other times more subtly.

    1. Yes and I am noticed that it is not just food that has an effect on our body and our choices about what we do with our time is also part of the feedback our body gives us. This blog really gives us the space to realise we may well be in a room full of competing messages trying to get our attention and making such a din that we don’t listen to any of them. In fact we work hard to silence the noise of the feedback loop.

  27. Not that many years ago, prior to meeting Serge Benhayon I was convinced that wisdom and understanding required years of studying and memorizing a whole load of information. There were also those who I witnessed who seemed to be able to tap into some sort of invisible awareness and wisdom, like Serge Benhayon himself, which I considered was an ability some ‘lucky’ people possessed.

    It is wonderful reminder that the Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop through our body is our link to the ‘invisible awareness and wisdom’ I was witnessing and craving. And it is available to every single one of us if we but choose to open up, pay attention and work with it.

  28. A great appreciation of how much our body truly supports us when we are willing to listen and that being caring and tender with ourselves deepens our awareness of how we are able to live in a true rhythm and flow with our body which immediately responds to restore itself back to our true harmony and way of being.

  29. Recently I have had tension in my body, I have noticed I been focussing the tension on my daily life but each time it has turned out to be something coming up from within for me to look at. For a while I didn’t feel this but the feedback I got from my body, when I chose to listen, was stop, question what was there and deeply feel into it, this allowed me to feel what it was and let it go and with it the tension went too and my body relaxed. I appreciate so much all that my body shows me.

    1. Great point Ruth. We usually look at whats happening in the outside world as to the reasons for how we feel and when there is tension we assume it is something we are having to deal with in life whereas it can so easily be something from deep inside that has loosened it’s grip sufficiently that it can come up to be released and let go of for all time.

  30. A brilliant synopsis of all our feedback loops, we basically have a super-sonic tool to always know how we are going with our self care and choices in life.

  31. Like anything the more we do something the better we get at doing it and listening to the body is no exception and obviously the more hinderances we remove from being able to feel what the body is saying, like coffee, sugar, dairy etc the better also.

  32. I know when I make choices that are unloving yet I will still make them but clocking how I feel when I am making them is supporting me to change my movements to loving movements. The more I am consistent with feeling or sensing what is true the more self loving I am and the more loving I am with those around me.

  33. I can really relate to the analogy of being in a crowded room with everyone talking and finding it difficult to hear the presenter.
    For myself I could not feel what sugar was doing to my metabolism when I was on too much caffeine. I could not feel what dairy was doing to my sinus when I was bloated on gluten. I could actually feel the how upsetting my toxic relationships were but I was not sleeping well and did not have enough love for myself to do anything about these relationships. The alcohol was the medication I used so that I could be dishonest with my body and not take notice of my Inbuilt Automatic Feedback Loop. When there is so many signals from your body you just have to listen to the loudest, and make your choices from there, as you refine things become clearer.

  34. I love how you have described your relationship with your body Monica; Honest and simple. There is so much to be learnt from life through an honest relationship with our body its value cannot be measured or under estimated; these lessons of life are as profound and life changing as teachings from a great sage.

  35. Reading this blog on New Year’s Eve and knowing I will wake up fresh tomorrow after returning home from a party tonight, a party that had no drinking, plenty of fun and dancing, really does confirm that the way I live now, is just so much more than I ever had before. I am so glad that I have gained and not lost, that I love and live more than ever before.

  36. On the front of one of UK’s national newspapers today was an article saying people here are increasingly reliant on anti-depressants, clearly something is not working in how people are living, and people are not listening to their bodies, ‘GP’s treble does of anti-depressants as Britain heads towards top of world table- A Nation Hooked On Happy Pills’.

  37. ‘And if I put too much into my system –it gets harder to hear the feedback.’ If I overload my system then when I eventually stop I find I really feel the knock on effect of my choices.

  38. ‘My inbuilt automatic feedback loop’ Love your description of how the body speaks to you Monica. The first thing for me in honouring and caring for myself is to be honest in how certain foods, emotions and my movements are effecting me and then comes the choice to be responsible by discarding those that aren’t supportive to my body and this continues to change as I become more aware. Not always easy but the ease I feel within my body tells me it is truly worth it.

  39. Our bodies are really like a wise best friend, they are always there for us, alerting us about what is loving and caring and what is not.

  40. The question arises for me is how major or severe does something have to become to make me stop and listen to it. Do I need to wait until I am really sick and cannot get out of bed to say ok how have I been running my body to get to this stage or do I catch myself craving some sugar or something wanting that pick me up? Which comes down to how much love am I wanting to be? will 90%, 70%, 50% suffice and be ok for now or will I say I do not want to accept any less than the 100% that I naturally am? Of course we are in human bodies so theres no perfection but it is still a valid question to ask.

  41. Our bodies are great at showing us the way we have been living and how everything we do have an impact and effect on it. We can try to ignore signs and symptoms but sooner or later it says ok enough is enough and shows us in a bigger more obvious way, not to annoy or punish us but rather to remind us of the love that we are.

  42. When you make self – care apart of our everyday awareness it is incredible to take note of the amount of times the body is pulled or pushed into a rhythm that does not support its natural state.

  43. It is amazing how well our bodies are looking after us, in giving us these feed back loop so we can have the choice to make more loving changes in our lives.

  44. Living in relationship with our bodies, rather than in our heads and separate from our bodies, opens up a whole new depth and understanding of life, with the beautiful benefit of it being natural to take care of ourselves and stay well.

  45. The body sure does know when we put something into it that does not work. When I ate dairy for example I would have huge sinus problems or when I ate gluten I would get a pain in my stomach. Eventually I decided to put my body first and not eat those foods and every day my body thanks me for that choice.

  46. We distract ourselves with ‘fancy’ technology, but the most fascinating technology and mechanics is in our own body. Clearly this feeds back to us what choices we make are true, or untrue, and this is the amazing loop you’ve talked about in your blog!

  47. I never used to realise how the tiny choices made a difference, but learning the understanding that every moment matters, and every choice impacts the next choice makes a huge difference to how life unfolds. The automatic feedback loop feeds back everything.

  48. Monica, I was reflecting on how you expressed how you used to live and I feel that many people, including myself used to live or still live even a heavier lifestyle that effects the body. How you ate three meals and had pasta’s and rice at dinner this is considered healthy by a lot of the office ladies I have known. It is sometimes seen as healthy if we simply eliminate alcohol out of our diet for a week but continue normally with everything else. Health is such a relative concept as I have also put in place all the changes you have, yet I know I still have many adjustments to make when it is time….. great sharing of insights.

  49. Many of us are prepared to pay a fortune to have systems in place, as in our cars or our business, so that we know when something needs attention. Many of us are prepared to go to a specialist and pay a fortune to give us feedback and help us turn things round.

    Yet we have made it an art to dull the awareness of our greatest actual source of awareness and feedback about life – and we often boast about our self sabotage. This itself should be seen as feedback that something is seriously wrong!

  50. The fine-tuned discernment you have developed by connecting to your inner feedback system shows itself in the tiny details you now know to be signals indicating that all’s not well and a sure sign that there are adjustments to be made. This is live research science in the body, through the body, from the body. And all we have to do is listen, take heed and from there make a choice.

  51. Thank goodness for our inbuilt automatics feedback loop, it serves the body well to return us to feeling what we do that sabotages us or supports us. It is as simple as that.

  52. We all have our own relationship with food, but mostly we underestimate how food impacts us. For example, overeating, dulls our sensitivity, preparing our food in a rush and then shoveling it in ( not really tasting each mouthful), and of course what we eat, everything has a significant impact on our energy levels, and our awareness to read situations which normally sets us up to either react instead of respond.

  53. What’s amazing is that we have these messages and markers to guide us through our lives. We don’t have to sit on a mountain in tibet for half a life trying to meditate to a place where we are enlightened with the fact that gluten bloats us or caffeine rattles the nervous system. We get all that we need instantaneously!

    1. This is great Michael! 🙂 How many people is looking for answers in the most sophisticated places or forms, while those answers are simply within their body..

  54. This is lovely to read because there can never be a time when listening to someone re-discover what it means to self-care is not truly gorgeous.

  55. The body is designed to always seek balance, to come back to a harmonious state – how we live can either be always opposed to this, creating much strain and struggle for the body or we can work with it

  56. There are so many markers we’re blessed with to help us along the way, particularly to do with our body and how it responds to our choices. Illness, disease and injury are certainly some of these important markers that reflect how the way we live really makes us feel, taking away the mask of distractions/comforts that we’ve developed to silence these feelings.

  57. It is not the body that tells us to reach for the coffee, the chocolate, the cigarette or the bottle of milk; it is the mind driven by the spirit
    that lives in disregard of the body and doesn’t give a toss about the consequences.

  58. When we honour our natural feedback system from the body, we begin to build a deeper knowing of who we are and how our vehicle of expression works and what it needs to work at optimal. It is from this consistent feedback system where we can continue to appreciate and honour its advice through our movements thereafter or we can choose to ignore what is shared but it all leads us back into the continual loop and the opportunity to choose love once more.

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