There’s so much talk about stress and how it can affect us. One of our biggest challenges is that we are so conditioned to being stressed that we don’t feel it in our bodies and are often not aware of how it’s impacting our lives.
In the Body Scan that I guide clients through I hear people say things like, “my shoulders have dropped”, “my breathing has softened” and “I feel more relaxed”, but until that moment they hadn’t been aware that their shoulders were up by their ears or that they were holding their breath!
Unfortunately, many of us become ill, have an accident or experience a distressing life event before we stop, take stock of our lives and become aware of the stress that we are coping with.
“these simple warnings have fused into a huge complex of emotions – this can be so disturbing that we now fear feeling itself – and that is at the root of our discontent”
So perhaps it would be easier to notice things that happen when we get stressed. For example, we might be more aware that we:
– Snap at the kids or our partner
– Run late for meetings
– Knock over our coffee
– Start overeating, over drinking or spending too much time on our phones
– Become indecisive
– Lose confidence in ourselves
(As you can probably guess I’ve done all of these!!)
Until we can FEEL the stress, we have no way of knowing what or how to change
Despite all or any of these indications we may be successful in our working life or business, have an active family life and from the outside life looks good!
But on the inside, there may be emotional turmoil?
This is incongruence – we are experiencing one way of being on the outside (externally) but something different on the inside (internally).
The challenge is that we do not FEEL the stress or emotional turmoil! Until we can FEEL the stress, we have no way of knowing what or how to change.
As author Linda Kohanov says, ‘the problem is that most adults have been suppressing their feelings for so long that these simple warnings have fused into a huge complex of emotions – this can be so disturbing that we now fear feeling itself – and that is at the root of our discontent.’
It took a fall with my horse Jack, and a broken collar bone, to stop me in my tracks and recognise the stress, to really feel my feelings and uncover the subconscious patterns of belief and behaviour that had pushed me to this point – so that I could change. I had to be true to myself – to be authentic!
‘Let go of who you think you need to be and just be who you actually are’
How can we be more authentic?
We can honour our true feelings and align with our heart. Once we realise what’s truly important to us and transmute the emotional blocks, we can take action which reflects our inner truth. Then we feel calmer and yet energised and can enjoy more harmonious relationships. We can live a life on the outside, which reflects our inner state of being.
So, the next time you find yourself:
– Knocking over your coffee
– Shouting at an innocent bystander
– Zoning out in the front of the TV whilst eating a whole packet of biscuits …….
…… take a minute to connect with your body and notice what you are FEELING and then bring awareness to your heart and ask, ‘what do I really want in this moment’ and then take action.
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress.
Working hard for something we love is called passion”
If you resonate with this blog and would like support to explore how stress may be impacting your life, then please do get in touch.