Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Where Does Your Stress Show Up

We all have stress.  Unless you're superman or Jesus or someone that is no longer alive, we all have stress.  Yes, there can be good and bad stress, but I'm talking about some of the normal stress we experience in our life.

For each of us, stress shows up differently and in different parts of our body.  No two people are alike, although there are similarities between one human to another.

Here's a little secret that you might not be aware of while we're talking about stress showing up in the body.  If you get real busy and have yourself burning the candle at both ends, there's a good chance you won't feel the stress in your body.  Your body just automatically numbs and disconnects from the stress.

As humans, we are good at numbing and disconnecting.  Imagine if a doctor had to work a 48 hour shift in an emergency room, but could not do it because he was feeling stressed out in his body.  In that case, numbing and disconnecting would be a good thing.  Yet, like the doctor, we all do this and when our 48 hours shift is over (if it ever is), we forget that it is time to feel.

Or what if you had to get to your job, take care of your kids and care for someone that is elderly.  Most likely, you wouldn't have time to feel pains and illness in your own body.  You would numb and disconnect from it in order to function.  Yet, when we need to do this we forget to stop and reconnect with the stress in our body to let it go.

When stress in my body kicks up....

For me, I feel stress in a couple of places, but sometimes it shifts to other places in my body.  I'll really feel it in my neck and shoulders at times.  Boy, when that kicks up, I feel like punching things and some days that really gets painful.

I've also had times where it shows up in my low back or comes on as a headache.  There are many different ways it shows up including sometimes causing digestive issues and stomach pain.

Yes, there are some that say if this part of our body hurts, it means x, y, and z.  While it may be connected to that and I don't discount that it is, you have to be careful that as the observer, you don't impact the observation.  Sometimes simplifying life down to these little "facts" becomes more detrimental than helpful.

There are a couple of very good books on the subject.  One is by Dr. John Sarno, The Mind Body Prescription.  The other book is by Dr. Peter Levine, Freedom From Pain.

I remember doing chair massage in an office one time and one of the people would complain of constant low back pain.  Sure, I could have applied the simple truth to why she had backpain because it was something in her life causing it.  However, I would just observe her at her desk.

I noticed that she had the computer monitor to the right on her L-shaped desk and her keyboard to the left.  She was constantly twisting her body all day long, but was not aware of it.  Once I pointed it out, she relocated stuff on her desk.  He body physically changed as a result. Before this, you could physically tell the spine was twisted and after it, the spine straightened out more.

Sometimes we have feet issues and there are many times that when you see feet pain come up, the individual is struggling with where to go in life.  They are having difficulty finding the right steps in their life.  Now, it may not have to mean something as simplified as what I just made it, but I've seen this show up many times.

For me, when frustration hits me and I'm struggling to figure out what is going on, I feel it in my body as if someone was punching me.  Often I've been told that I beat myself up seeking perfection in what I do.  Many times I have to stop and realize that if I just give myself a break and quit beating myself up, my body feels better.

There is a word for converting stress into physical symptoms and that is called somatization.  Yes, you can literally create pain and illness in your body by allowing the stress to continue. We do this to ourselves while hardly recognizing that we are doing it.

So instead of trying to apply facts that other people come up with to explain pain, go in and become acquainted with who you truly are and observe what is going on.  When you feel the pain in your own body and connect to it, you're really given yourself some good information that is very useful in life.

The next blog post on March 16, 2017 will tell you more about how to deal with stress showing up in the body. Make sure you read Dealing With Stress Showing Up In Your Body.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
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