Sometimes Health Problems are Symptoms of Emotional Stress – Part II


To change your emotional state and reduce or eliminate emotional stress, eliminate or alleviate negative emotions. You can also reduce the impact of any negative emotions on your body. Different options work better for different people. Try a variety of options to identify the one or more activities that work best for you.

I personally use acupuncture. My acupuncturist in Atlanta, Dr. Lee, has been phenomenal. I have cleared up a few of my short-term or chronic ailments with acupuncture. I also see a chiropractor periodically. Finally, after seven (yes, 7!) different chiropractors, I finally found one who is a good fit for me and who helped me clear up my back issues.

I am also a huge believer in massage. Years ago, two nights before I left for a 2.5 year stint working as an engineer for Honda in Japan, I had a one-hour massage. My massage therapist, who was also a registered nurse, gave me a 2-hour massage instead as a going away gift. I was excited about my impending journey. I didn’t realize that I was also scared until I burst into tears around the 75-minute mark of the massage! I’m not a crier so I was embarrassed. But she told me to let it out. The tension was in my body because of the unexpressed (and unrealized) trepidation. The massage loosened up my emotional stress and made it come out.

Me doing yoga. My 6 yr. old niece took this photo!

Me doing yoga. My 6 yr. old niece took this photo!

I also do yoga. I practice Ashtanga yoga with Vinyasa (which means flow). I remember I had purchased a newspaper company in early 2007 and was having problems with the transition. I was all stressed and knew I needed a massage. I had practiced various forms of yoga off and on for five years. But I took that Ashtanga class and felt so relaxed afterwards, like I’d had a massage. All the free flowing, somewhat strenuous movements and continuous deep  breathing released the tension from my body like nothing but massage had ever done for me. I was hooked!

I also practice meditation now. Daily. Sometimes twice daily. I can tell when I skip a day. I feel a little off my game. Things bother me more. My thoughts are not as constructive. I give thanks for my discovery of meditation all the time. Occasionally I pray. I don’t get down on my knees like I was taught in Catholic school. I go walk my dog late at night (after 11 pm when people are in bed and can’t hear me!) and talk out loud to God. My thoughts get really clear.

Of course, I work out.  Working out is an amazing stress reliever. It clears my head and builds and tones my body. But the strenuous exercise I do places stress on the body. So the other activities I mention balance the mind, reduce my emotional stress and relieve my physical stress.

For more information on the mind-body connection and how emotions take residence in your body, please read Louis Haye’s awesome book, “Heal Your Body, Heal Your Life.”

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