We live in a fast-paced, instant-gratification world. Our society is obsessed with the idea of faster, bigger, better, and more in every aspect. We have constant information and overstimulation at our fingertips 24/7 and I don’t know a single adult, teen, or child who isn’t addicted to technology. Is there a day that goes by that you don’t feel rushed, overwhelmed, or unfulfilled? When we create these emotions of unease and high stress, we are really setting the course for disaster. Most people will finally crack under the pressure of constant stress. They have the weekend to get a little extra sleep, slow down, and recharge. They struggle to take time for themselves and pile on as much as they can so they can feel accomplished. But are they really ever stopping to relish in their accomplishments or constantly taking off after the next goal?
Who are we trying to please? Our ego? What we fail to realize is that most often the only person who truly cares about our accomplishments is us. Dr. John Sarno was a pioneer in the mind-body field. He came up with the term TMS or tension myoneural syndrome. In his book, The MindBody Prescription, Sarno illustrates how pressures we put on ourselves induce stress which turns on the fight-or-flight response. This in turn spikes cortisol levels resulting in oxygen deprivation. If this becomes your natural state, your unconscious mind triggers oxygen deprivation to create physical pain or other ailments. Your emotions are creating a bodily response.
Emotion is energy and it never disappears. It doesn’t disintegrate. It will build up like a pressure cooker and say, “Look at me! I can’t keep going like this! I need a break!” It is your body’s way of saying “FU” to the character you are portraying. If you refuse to take a breather, your body will do it for you. Your body is enduring dis-ease. This can mean any kind of chronic pain, affliction, or breakdown. Think back to the 80’s and 90’s when ulcers were so prevalent. Our society later accepted that stress was the culprit. Imagine all of the poor souls who sought out doctors, surgeons and pills while this condition was in vogue.
It seems that with each passing decade, a new condition or disease springs up. We’ve seen the following come into cultural consciousness and spread like wildfire: IBS, RSI (repetitive stress injury), carpal tunnel, arthritis, G.E.R.D., irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, vertigo, tondonitis, migraines, fibromyalgia. Today, many people suffer from back pain or shoulder pain. They understand that because the back and shoulders are a part of the body, any pain in these areas must have come about physically. Unfortunately, emotions cannot be measured in an MRI or test tube. Most doctors are not educated in psychological issues and don’t feel comfortable discussing emotions so they provide only a physical diagnoses. We have come to expect this scenario when we visit a doctor in our Western culture. We want a pill or a surgery—a quick fix. Has your M.D ever asked you about the stresses in your life? Do your feel like they even know who you are or consider what life pressures you are under?
In the book, Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, Karol K. Truman discusses how the language of emotions is the hardest language to communicate. She states, “Dis-ease in any form is the natural consequence of unresolved negative feelings that have seemingly been forgotten, ignored, or buried.” It is not a standard form of expression to share how we feel. We are brought up in society to “behave.” Compare a two-year-old to an adult. The former will tell you, “No,” they hate that food, they don’t want to go somewhere, or they’ll cry because they are tired or hungry. An adult will kindly comply so as not to make waves or enemies. We are taught at a young age to bury how we really feel. It is a constant battle with the two-year-old version of ourselves and our ego who wants to please society. When you only listen to your ego and don’t ever give your inner child a voice, you experience pain, depression, anxiety, and all other forms of dis-ease.
I encourage you to take a step back from your life. If you aren’t being honest with yourself about stress and worries, you are setting yourself up for failure and pain. Perfectionism in our society is coveted on every level. Whom do you follow on social media? Whom do you surround yourself with? Do they put added pressure and stress on you? If they are making you feel a tightness in your chest or uneasy STOP! Listen to your body. Your body will tell you if you are being true to yourself. Society has told you that if you are a certain way, attain a particular status, or whatever, then you are worthy of love. That is a big fat lie. Unfollow those who don’t make you feel good about yourself and surround yourself with uplifting people. You are the sum of the five people you surround yourself with most often. Positive people are like a breathe of fresh air. Breathe that in. If it’s not a “hell yes,” it’s a “hell no.” Go against the grain and take time for what you really want to do. Make yourself sit and do nothing! It’s good for your body. Close your eyes, let your shoulders fall, and plant your feet on the ground. When you slow down, everything will fall into place. Your body knows how to heal itself. You just need to take a deep breathe, be still, and let it.