Where do you carry your stress? Are you aware of it creeping up on you, or do you suddenly realize it is there? Most of us exhibit physical symptoms of stress; tangible signs that we need to stop and take care of ourselves. People will commonly walk into my office complaining of headaches, restless sleep, tension in their neck and back, shortness of breath. By the time someone is mentioning these symptoms they usually have been stressed for quite awhile, but have either ignored or been oblivious to it. Listening to your body and taking action is an essential skill if your aim is to live well.
Do you know where you carry your stress? If so, how intense are the symptoms before you notice them? Try and see if you can catch those signs a bit earlier. If you don’t know the answer to this question, no worries, stress is ubiquitous and you are sure to face it again. When you do, take a few minutes to notice where in your body you carry your tension. It may be one in place, or it may be that you have a cluster of symptoms. Maybe when your stress is mild you notice it only in one area, but as it grows your symptoms shift or multiply.
Regardless or where and how you physically express your stress, being able to read you body and use that information to address said stress is priceless – and often times free. Once you notice it ask yourself: what is going on? What are my worries? What is it I need to do? Further blog posts will cover some simple techniques to address the initial symptoms of stress, but for now, if you can implement these steps of simply noticing and investigating your physical symptoms of stress you will be well on your way to becoming a more balanced you.