Have you noticed you have more headaches and muscular pain when you are stressed, sad, frustrated or too busy?
Emotional exhaustion and turmoil often break our sleep pattern, thus the lack of sleep also increases our emotional and physical tension. We tend to reach for comfort food during those times, which are often foods that increase inflammation, like sweets, breads, fast food, alcohol.
When we are stressed, grieving, angry, anxious, or too busy, our sympathetic nervous system
(fight or flight) kicks in, and our bodies automatically get in the ‘on-guard’ mode. Our muscles tighten; our breathing becomes rapid and shallow; our heart beats faster, and hormones like adrenaline and cortisol become elevated. I compare it to a race: You are at the starting line, in position to run, awaiting the starter pistol.
If we have experienced chronic/frequent stress, anger, anxiety, or not enough down time, our bodies stay stuck in this mode, long after the situation may have calmed. Muscle memory may be the cause.
When our muscles are used to being tense all the time, the muscles think that is how they are supposed to be. Think about learning to dance, or driving a car. At first, we have to think about every step and every move, but after a lot of practice, our muscles automatically respond. This is great for dancing and driving, but not good after stress, sadness, anxiety, or anger have eased.
The next time you have physical discomfort, ask if it may be an emotion causing it. Do whatever you can healthfully, to release the emotion. Cry; talk; holler (in an acceptable way - maybe an Martial Arts class?); take time off; or get away. Practice proper breathing; take epsom/sea salt bath; exercise or spend time in nature.
If we would take time to honour our emotions, we may be able to prevent, or at least minimize our physical pain too. Even when life is flowing well, we should be proactive and take care of our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical needs. This will help keep us strong, allowing us to be better equipped to handle life’s bumps.
Wishing you more PEACE and JOY and less pain.