In and out of history and cultures, we human beings have acknowledged that our mental and emotional state is somehow related to our physical state. But for some reason, it is easier to say “I have a headache” than “I am overwhelmed with my job and my head is letting me know that.” As human beings have industrialized, increased the rate of speed, number of relationships, and daily mental output, we have grown less aware of what is happening inside.
Many times clients will sit on the couch across from my chair, and I will see where they are keeping their pain, sadness, anger, or anxiety. Some carry stress in their shoulders (a personal go-to place for me). Some have a constant stomachache with no explanation. Others feel restless in their hands or legs. The list goes on.
Our bodies are amazing in so many ways, but perhaps you have never thought that your body could actually be speaking to you! Ruth Haley Barton writes that our bodies serve as a prophet. Your body is speaking to you now!
Let me take you through a quick exercise.
- Sit comfortably upright.
- Close your eyes and breathe slowly.
- Place all of the distractions that come up for you and mentally place them on the table.
- Become aware of your body. Go from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
- Where do you feel off balance? Where are you storing those unwanted emotions? Do they feel like a ball, or pin pricks in your fingers, or a nagging ache, or tightness and restriction?
- Talk it through with a counselor or good friend.
I have heard it said that our heart and our mind may betray us, but our bodies speak the truth!