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Monday, February 3, 2014

Where do you carry your stress?

Almost all of us carry stress in our body when we get uptight.  The real art is how to pay attention to it.  Recently I've had people in my practice talk to me about:

1) clenching their jaw
2) headaches
3) neck aches
4) pain in the shoulders that causes headaches
5) loss of appetite
6) heartburn
7) loss of sleep
8) anxiety
9) getting sick
10) diarrhea

In each of these specific incidents all these things entirely related to stress in their life.  But more than just the fact that stress was present - that is universal for us all from time to time - it's how they responded to it.  When we suffer with things like this we typically go with how we have been trained; ignore it.  Sometimes with our force of will but often with medications.

I believe a wiser approach is to ask "what is my body trying to tell me?"  Be present to what hurts, lean in to it.  Most of the time, for most of us we need not suffer nearly as much if we would simply push ourselves a little less.  Go to bed when we're tired, one more show is not worth it.  Say "no" to the one-more-thing trying to squeeze it's way into your to do list.

If we listen better to our own needs of rest, recovery and sleep, if we say no a little more often rather than saying yes through gritted teeth, if we have a little more tolerance for outcomes we were trying to control against, in short; listen a little better to the wisest and best within us, we will suffer less.

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