Have you ever noticed what stress feels like?
Yesterday I sat in a recliner at my acupuncture provider’s (it’s community acupuncture so we’re all in one big room of healing) and responded to her usual “how are you” with “extremely stressed”. She assured me she could help and set to work placing needles.
As I closed my eyes, several things occurred to me: I was reminded that the brain and body cannot tell the difference between real (being chased by a lion) and imagined (ruminating on an altercation at work); I suddenly became aware of how stress FELT in my body; and I became acutely aware of exactly how it is that stress kills.
I sat there with my eyes closed and did a full body scan. I began to realize that I have several physical tells when it comes to stress: I grit my teeth to the point of making my jaw sore; I cave in on myself, rounding my shoulders and spine; I stop breathing fully, instead taking very shallow and short breaths; and the hardest to ignore is the stress migraines.
Can you imagine living with these symptoms long term? Many of us do, without even noticing.
I could get into the science but instead, I’m going to invite you to do some self-investigation. Do you know what your tells are, how your body tells you you have too much stress? If you don’t, here’s your opportunity to consider it. I want you to do this for one reason: if you KNOW, you can do something about it and sooner.
Information is power. You cannot address something when you don’t know it’s going on. Stress is unavoidable, but it IS within our power to mitigate its effects. Mitigating those effects can be the difference between a long and healthy life and one of chronic illness.
Ultimately, it is up to you to know your body and do something about it.
Have a lovely weekend!