QUESTION: You seem to emphasize the importance of hydration in many of your workshops, and the effects that dehydration can have on our bodies and minds. Aside from feeling thirsty, how can I tell if I am dehydrated?
ANSWER: By the time you feel thirsty (dry mouth and/or throat) you are probably already very dehydrated. There are two more classic indicators: one is to pinch the skin on the back of your hand - the more slowly it goes back to normal, the more dehydrated you are; the other is to check your urine - the more yellow and smelly it is, the more dehydrated you are. There are a lot of other possible indicators, but the problem is that they may be caused by a lot of other things besides dehydration. Personally, whenever I experience any of the following symptoms, the first thing I do is drink a glass of water: pain in my body on waking up, irritability, fatigue, racing thoughts, confusion, anxiety, insomnia. If I get any relief from the water I assume that dehydration is probably the main problem, and if I don't get any relief, I look for another cause. Before going to the medicine cabinet, calling a doctor, or using any of my many healing techniques, I also try deep breathing for a while, drinking a glass of milk, and taking a pinch of salt or a low-cal sports drink. These approaches work very well for me, but you will have to find out what works for you.