The whole picture
Thoughts to ponder...
Do you feel that pressure building when things begin to stay with you rather than move through you?
When we “hold” our emotion which might look like swallowing our words rather than giving voice to them, or “parking” our problems for a more convenient time, or letting our blood boil rather than letting off some steam it gathers in our body or it comes out sideways as aggression, reactivity, frustration, anger, or even violence, causing damage to and hurt within our relationships on the way out.
When it gathers in the body it waits patiently at first, until it begins to become heavier, more toxic, and something our body just doesn’t want to hold anymore. It manifests as dis-order, or dis-ease. This will surely get our attention. A loss of voice, some kind of ailment that temporarily makes us stop, a migraine that sends us to bed, even a body wide condition that ensures we finally notice our body (even if it is through pain).
By creating our own warning lights we can catch ourselves in a part of our own cycle before we reach that full blown destructive tipping point.
Perhaps your warning light is reactivity: when you recognise this you know that it’s time to decompress - some time, some space, some perspective and some ownership, circling you back to a place of inner peace.
Perhaps your warning light is a fury within, rage or a sense of spiralling out of control and you create a process for yourself in that moment that opens the valve to let some pressure out in a way that brings relief without destruction - screaming underwater, crying, sobbing, stomping, punching a pillow, getting it off your chest by sharing with someone you trust and then intentionally doing something soothing and settling for the nervous system - a walk, the ocean, a bath, some time in nature.
Imagine years of this waiting patiently in your body, all of those words unspoken, the emotions parked, until it expresses as something physical or worse. You become so used to ignoring it or avoiding it that you disconnect from it, closing off and in the process finding it hard to experience or feel much at all including the joy.
That is the danger of the build up. As you finish up this article I invite you to consider these two strategies that are certain to relieve some of the stress and pressure and in the process act a a gesture of self responsibility, self regulation and self care.
Some unstructured time in and with nature. A coastal trail, the ocean, you decide where you feel good and make it a priority to spend some time there. Ideally before boiling point, because these spacious moments add up but certainly as a response to “too much”. Natures wisdom waits for us. It shares a sense of space with us, it holds us for a little while, and when we take a moment to take some cooling breaths, we breath with nature so if you can’t physically get there please know that breathing does connect you to nature - you breathe out and the trees breathe in, the trees breathe out and you take that breath in.
Expression. Which means moving it rather than holding it and the options are endless. Verbalising your challenge with someone you trust, crying, screaming, stomping, shaking it out, jumping, dancing, singing (music is a powerful channel for expression so create a playlist that supports that emotion and moves you) running, breathwork, boxing.
Our body is always communicating with us. We are either choosing to take part in that conversation or choosing ignorance and the consequence is our happiness and our health.