Often when we are dealing with and discussing health issues there is a common disconnect between what one does and the way the feel. Occasionally one can connect back pain with too much yard work or sitting in the car all day linked to the next level of stiffness, but most often heard is “I don’t know what I did”.
Here’s why. We can make a quick connection with physical stress on the body. Stubbing a toe or banging a shin-trailer hitch anybody? We can feel the connection, but chemical stress and emotional stress plays as large of a role in pain and other symptoms as the physical stress we encounter daily.
We encounter chemical stress everyday. Chemicals in the form of caffeine, alcohol, pesticides, hormones, herbicides, etc. Just sprayed the weeds myself. Chemical stressors cause similar symptoms of physical stress and more. My 5 year loves to clean the windows. He grabbed an older can (we use vinegar now) of window cleaner and went to work. The next morning he awoke with a constant runny nose and puffy, itchy eyes. Most would write this off to “allergies” but dad knows of the chemical assault he received just the day before.
Ever feel your body tense at the thought of confronting a major issue in your life? How about a phone call from a debt collector or seeing that person in the grocery store you swore you would never talk to again? We attach powerful emotions to scenarios in our lives that cause a cascade of physiology to happen in the body. Hormones are released (like the near miss when the car that pulls out in front of you- hello adrenaline!) causing the body to adapt to the “perceived threat”. Anger, guilt, worry and fear have a negative impact on the body just as the contrasting joy, happiness and excitement have a positive impact. Want to see how emotions impact your body? Take a 5 year old to Disneyland!
So when it comes to connecting the way we feel and answering the “why” look at the combination of physical, chemical and emotional stressors in your life. If your body is expressing symptoms, it is likely due to too much stress. Take a quick inventory and see what stressor you can reduce or eliminate. Confront a looming issue, pay down some debt, stop drinking diet soda, exercise, go for a long walk, get out in nature, pray, eat some green vegetables, see a chiropractor, enjoy a spa day, smile at a loved one, give a complement, turn off the television and buy organic. Whatever it may be for you, build a little reserve and you might just find yourself asking “why do I feel so good!”