In order to understand the connection between your emotions and your body, you need a clear picture how your body reacts to stress or in situations that is threatening your survival and well-being. If you are in an emotionally challenging situation, instantly and without conscious planning, your entire being prepares to confront or escape from the danger. Blood rushes away from the surface of your skin, which is the reason why you tend to feel cold and clammy when emotionally distressed. Muscles tighten to provide a rigid armor against the external threat.
As a consequence, breathing is restricted by the tense muscles and it becomes shallow and quick. Adrenaline flows as your body is in a state of alert. These reactions are part of a comprehensive stress response linking mind and body in absolute unity.
It does not make any major difference to your body if you experience this stress as real, or if you imagine or remember the distressing situation or trauma. This means your body takes all threats seriously, whether internal or external, imagined or real, and responds immediately.
The fact is, our physical body is totally linked with our internal emotional world. This means that when your body is tense you will feel fear or stress at the same time. This means the daily stresses are in your body just as much as in your head. Most of us are under a certain exposure of stress all the time. Unfortunately we are already so conditioned to stress, that we do not even notice the stiffness or tension in parts of our body anymore. I am talking here about daily worries, fears about the future, traumas of the past, fear of losses, even humiliations and rejections.
In many consultations with clients, I discovered that these stress sources accumulate from painful or traumatic events from long ago, which triggers or aggravates our current situation over time. On top of that, each time we cannot express negative emotions, small residue of tension is held in certain muscles until we can find some way to release it. Everybody has preferred areas in the body where tension is stored more than in others. These areas store often old fears and hurts, which are hard to release. It is also known that these particular zones tend to run in families. Parents communicate certain habits to their children through verbal and non-verbal communication. In other words, if the parents focus stress tension in the shoulder and neck area, at least one of the kids will do the same.
How Do We Find Inner Peace from Stress?
Although human beings have always being exposed to various stresses that cause blockages and pain in the body, the challenges we are exposed in our post-industrial Western cultures has become excessive, epidemic and literally deadly. Our external environment changed within less than 50 years dramatically, not giving us humans time to genetically adapt. The results are devastating resulting in epidemic high blood pressures, headaches, digestive disorders, arthritis, cancer, heart disease and respiratory disorders.
In Chinese the effects of this ongoing physical and mental tension on a person is described as “the outside strong, the inside rots”. This is very true, because when we typically can’t resolve our problems, we internalize our negative emotions as tension and blockages. As a result the bodies life energy flow becomes weak and blocked, which results in pain and low immune system. This is the reason why most of our clients complain about low energies and pains throughout the body.
There are many ways to deal with these circumstances. Often people try to ignore their stress by avoiding and escaping from problems, desensitizing our senses with alcohol, energy drinks, excessive work and television.
A far better solution is to work actively on our negative emotions and anxiety and also adapt to these new challenges with effective strategies. Clearing up negative emotions is something that everybody can learn, and I will dedicate another edition to this topic. A very good start is to read the first two chapters of my book “The Missing Masterpiece”. You can download them at www.BojanSchianetz.com.
An excellent way to deal and to reduce stress tension in your body is qigong. Kenneth Cohen describes Qigong as “a systematic training in psychophysiological self-regulation”. Qigong teaches us to deal intelligently and effectively with stress. A regular Qigong practitioner is able to keep the body relaxed and the internal energy strong and healthy. Another benefit is also that Qigong helps to develop skills to regulate the healthy balance of mind, body and spirit. Through my daily training, I have developed a very high resiliency and adaptability to stress, because I am able to create and feel inner peace within.
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