Stress shows up physically

It’s Stress Awareness month! And we’re going to be talking all things stress over the next four weeks.

Stress shows itself in us regularly, but we often ignore the signs and carry on regardless. Behaviours, physical ailments and emotional shifts regularly act as red flags that show us what’s going on.

This week we’re talking about how stress shows up physically. Brené Brown says ‘our body keeps score and it always wins.’ She means that when we’re under stress, and ignoring the discomfort that comes up in response to that stress, the body will ‘store’ it. Over time that ‘stockpiled’ stress will build until eventually something physically starts to go wrong.

That’s why back pain, headaches, jaw ache, neck ache, psoriasis, eczema, digestion problems, hormone imbalances, insomnia, constant tiredness, low energy, or chest pains show up so regularly when we are living life in a heady, stressy, full pelt way with no self-care or time of reflection.

Physical ailments are a very natural response to living in a highly stressful world. There’s nothing to be ashamed of by experiencing such things. However, the step change is all about actually paying attention to what the body is telling us. Consistent lower back pain might be telling us there’s too much on our plate and it’s time to start saying no to a few things. Regular headaches might be telling us we’re pushing too hard at a task and we might be better off backing off a little bit.

Treat your bodily aches and pains as red flags. Your body is trying to tell you something. Pay attention, and then think about approaches you can take to heal.

With love as ever, Hannah

Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash

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