If you are anything like me, you ignore the daily nudges to take time for yourself, to relieve some stress, and to recharge your batteries. You keep pushing. You keep trying. You keep turning up the inner volume so you don't hear your quiet voice repeating, "it's time to look after you."
How many excuses have you told yourself? Do any of these sound familiar?
"It's not that bad."
"If I just keep going and get this finished I will feel better."
"I don't have the time or the money to stop and look after me."
I am here to tell you that all the effort you spend ignoring this inner nudging far surpasses the amount of energy it takes to stop for a moment, and look after yourself. You will feel better in the end, and you will save your body from having to adapt to stress.
The following at the top reasons to start paying attention to that nudge to look after yourself.
1. Your body doesn't know the difference between a physical ailment and a physical/emotional stress. You body has the same reaction to stressful thoughts and situations as it does to say a heart attack. Have you noticed a change in your breathing patterns when you are stressed? A change in the tension in your chest? A change in your heart beat? All of these are the same symptoms of a heart attack. Chronic stress has a very negative impact on our bodies.
2. Your body is constantly adapting to stress. Higher cortizol levels, increased or decrease in body weight, increase in headaches, lack of sleep. Everyday, subtle changes occur in our bodies in order to handle the stress. These little changes may be so subtle that you don't notice them until it's too late.
3. Your relationships begin to change. Others may see and point out how you have changed, how your patience has grown thin. You may find that you begin to push people away because you don't like how you feel, or even worse you won't want them to know how you really feel.
4. Your diet changes. Your busy so you tell yourself will just grab a quick meal, a hamburg, a pizza, just something to tide you over. Not only does this become expensive, on the go food does not fuel your body properly. Fats begin to build up in the body, taxing it even more. This type of food does not fuel the brain either, so you have to work even harder to clear your thinking. You begin to feel as though you are living under a cloud.
5. You begin to look for escapes from how you feel. At first it may be a drink or two, or a cigarette, a pill, working longer, sex, anything to change the way you feel. For some this works, and doesn't become a problem, but all too often you begin to take more risks to get that instant gratification of feeling good.
6. You begin to believe that life is stressful, that everyone feels this way, that there is no way out. You begin to isolate yourself from healthy options and people. You feel as though it is too late to get back to feeling good. You begin to bargain with yourself, if I can get through this one situation, I will start looking after myself. Before you know it you are through the situation and faced with the next, having forgotten the promise you made yourself.
If any of this sound familiar you to you it's time to stop. It's time to look after yourself. It's time to get out of your own way and start listening to that quiet voice within. You don't have to know what you need. You don't have to know what steps to take. What you do need to do is to admit you are stressed, and ask for a helping hand.
There are many natural ways to bring your body and mind back into balance and harmony. Here are a few that I offer.
Reiki, an ancient Japanese relaxation technique that brings the body back into balance.
Meditation, the art and discipline of quieting the mind and body. (no you don't have to become a monk to benefit)
Sound Therapy, bringing the body into balance and harmony through the introduction of various sounds, I use crystal singing bowls and rhythm instruments.
Crystals,using the natural vibrations of crystals to enhance well-being.
Soulera, a plant adaptogen alixer that works on every system in the body bringing it back to homeostatis.