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Your Body is Sending a Signal
If you have chronic pain, or other chronic symptoms, your body is sending you a signal that something isn’t right. First, it starts as a small little tapping on the shoulder, which could look like occasional stomach pain, knee pain, or some other symptom that is just enough to be noticeable, but easy to ignore or write off. “I often have stomach cramping and digestive issues when I get nervous, but that happens to everyone, right?”
This signal could mean that you have too much stress in your life, that you are eating foods that are not healthy, that you are not getting enough rest, you don’t have strong enough boundaries, that you are not spending enough time with friends, or some other type of self-care that you are dismissing.
If you don’t listen to the tapping, then your body begins knocking loudly as it sends a stronger signal. This could be in the form of regularly experiencing headaches, sinus problems, bouts of IBS, knee pain that causes you to have trouble walking, panic attacks, or back pain that keeps you in bed, for example.
Some people still push through their daily routine, which causes the body to send out a fire alarm. Eventually, they can’t get out of bed, they have a short stay in a hospital, scans come back abnormal, or they are diagnosed with a serious illness.
Is Your Body Sending You a Signal?
If you’ve been diagnosed with any type of chronic symptoms, your body is sending you a signal that you need to pay attention to. Here are a few examples you might be dealing with:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Slipped disc in your back
- Vertebral abnormalities
- Shoulder pain that lasts for more than a few months
- Knee pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Weight gain
- Unexplained weight loss
Obviously, there are too many chronic conditions to list here. Just know that your body is equipped to heal itself, unless you are suffering with chronic stress. Of course, there are always certain illnesses that your doctor may need to intervene with, including all the ones listed above. Doctors are an important part of healthcare, however, even they will admit that they are addressing symptoms, and not the root cause.
Start Noticing What Is Going On During Flare Ups
Start paying attention to what is going on in your life during flare-ups of your symptoms.
-Do you have a big decision to make?
-Are you unhappy at work?
-Is a relationship causing stress? (with a coworker, friend, family member, spouse/partner)
-Is there something you want to do, but are not allowing yourself to do?
-Are you not allowing yourself any downtime?
-Are you sleep-deprived?
I recently saw a video of Dr. Mona Vand, who is a natural health influencer. She was talking about how her family encouraged her to become a pharmacist. Pharmacists make a nice salary and it is a respected profession. She agreed and completed all the schooling necessary, but that wasn’t where her passion was. Instead, she wanted to help people with improving their health naturally. Now, she has a very lucrative career doing the thing she loves. Her parents can’t argue, because she is so successful. There are millions of stories about people just like her, who followed their passion, and made themselves a much bigger success than if they had stayed in a boring job they didn’t like.
Try This Exercise
Did one of the questions above resonate with you? If so, or even if you’re not sure, try journaling about the stress in your life. I’ve read about this exercise in several different books, but the most notable is Dr. John Sarno’s book, The Mind Body Prescription. What you do is, set a timer for 20–30 minutes. Then choose a topic that is causing you stress, from the present or past, and write on a piece of paper, or in a notebook without picking up your pen, worrying about grammar, or worrying about anyone else seeing what you write. Here’s the magic part, you will destroy your writing afterward, either by ripping it to tiny shreds, or burning it in a safe manner (outside, in a heat safe foil pan or container).
Destroying your writing allows you to write things that you normally wouldn’t feel safe telling anyone, or running the risk of anyone seeing. You can also write on a computer, or even in your phone if necessary, but be sure to completely erase and delete the file afterward. By not stopping to think as you write, often, unconscious thoughts that you’ve been repressing, can come to light.
What this exercise does, is, it allows you to release pent-up emotions. These are emotions that you have stuffed down, and not allowed to show. We stuff emotions for many reasons, but, most of those reasons are generally to keep yourself safe from loss of love and affection from the people that you deem important in your life. They could be caregivers from childhood, family members, friends, your boss, a coworker, or your romantic partner.
As a child, you had to stay in the good graces of your parents in order to receive basic care, like food and shelter, to survive. If you had a parent that struggled with addiction, mental illness, or dysfunctional behavior, you couldn’t show anger, or unhappiness, otherwise you might trigger their anger and subsequent punishment.
As an adult, you may have felt you had to stuff down your feelings to keep a job. You may have had to deny your feelings in order to keep your family together for financial reasons, cultural reasons, or because of having young children. Whatever the reason, it felt safer for you to ignore negative emotions at the time. You learned that negative emotions are dangerous.
When you begin paying attention to your body, you need a way to release negative emotions. Holding them in causes chronic health symptoms, and can even lead to more serious illnesses. Your body may be sending you a signal right now.
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