We are all much too familiar with things in life that disturb our inner peace. News reports, family pressures, personal failures – any number of challenges like these can cause a steady stream of stressful thoughts that make it more difficult to be productive.
I’ve sometimes resorted to putting negative or stressful thoughts out of my mind as a way to continue functioning when life is busy and there are multiple demands on my time. But where does a bothersome thought go once I put it out of my mind? I’ve had to be careful that the offending idea doesn’t then go into my body and cause problems there.
I’ve proven to myself that I can’t always ignore a problem to death. I’ve noticed that my head might be able to deny the problem but my body does keep track. It manifests that record by showing up with tension, digestive issues, aches and pains, and in a weird sort of echo back to the mind, anxiety and depression.
So for me, putting stressful thoughts out of my mind does not solve the issue. It only drives it deeper inside where it can sometimes be more difficult to identify and deal with. I’ve found it healthier, both emotionally and physically, to take the time and effort necessary to sort through my challenges, understand them, and give them their proper due, instead of pretending they don’t exist.
So I’m not Buddhist, but I wholeheartedly agree with the Buddhist concept of being in one’s body. I must have heard it before, but I recently came to the conclusion that being in my body was a good way to alleviate distress and stress.
I think I must have learned at an early age to “flee” my body because of a desire to avoid the trauma that was happening, whether that trauma was physical or emotional. I learned, in my shame, to exit to another place.
But eventually this no longer served me. Eventually I came to a safe place in my world and I needed to learn how to be with myself. The danger of staying in my body was no longer greater than the the danger of fleeing.
Now, it serves me much better to sit with myself, to go inside, to be in touch with what is going on with my body from a very intimate level. I’m not sure how to explain the way that helps me with dissolving anxiety and physical pain. But it really makes a difference. It calms me and it relaxes my body.
I think what I am doing is integrating the whole me. I’ve been split for a long time and that’s not the healthiest way to be. So integrating, bringing my whole self together by being in my body and by reuniting with past versions of me, is lifting me to new levels of physical and emotional health.
Even in the midst of a crazy season of menopause!