He walked into my office and immediately I could tell. He was holding his whole week’s worth of issues and challenges all over his body. He was running late for our session. Work was crazy, the traffic was horrendous and his youngest child did not want him to leave the house where he had been working. Yet, I am fairly certain that he was unaware of exactly how much his hectic life was showing up in more than his head. This is the mind-body connection.
We took a moment to do a simple meditation. At first, his body did not want to let it go. The tension remained. And it almost seemed as if his mind was still seeking to find all of the answers or maybe it’s one cure-all to life’s hectic pace. Soon though, he settled and listened to my voice guiding him through the meditation. Like clock work, he transpires. I can see his shoulders released, his jaw dropped, the wrinkled forehead softened, the hands and fists loosen, and the breath becomes deeper, more relaxed. He slowly let go.
It’s true for almost every client that I have. They look forward to the scheduled appointment, one dedicated hour, to release, let go, and have opportunities to gain new body-mind-spirit perspectives. Each time together offers learning techniques to trust the “whole” of you, that part that wants to be heard through the hustle and bustle of life. It is a true honor for me to collaborate with others on this important healing journey. A simple meditation can begin an incredible journey to the vast world located behind your eyes.
So what exactly is stress? Merriam-Webster defines “stress” as:
“constraining force or influence such as:.. a) the deformation caused in a body by such a force; b) a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation; and c) a state results from a stress; especially: one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium.”
As a society, it seems we have largely forgotten how all aspects of our person are working together. When we are experiencing tension in the shoulders, or clenching our jaws, or other physical symptoms, we often assume it is just physical. We do not pause to reflect if it is related to something else happening in our lives. The same tension being held over long periods of time may also show up as an illness or disease. More and more our healthcare system is also recognizing the connection between the “whole” of us, and understanding how people can reduce stress through tools such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, qigong, Reiki and other techniques.
Even our federal government has begun a campaign. For instance, April has been designated as “National Stress Awareness Month.” I congratulate this initiative and its efforts to begin an important dialog on the body-mind implications. To support the month, the Department of Health and Human Services’s Federal Occupational Health has offered tips and techniques to begin a personal stress reduction plan.
I too want to support individuals connecting the dots on their personal body-mind messaging. If you follow us on Facebook, you know that I re-posted the Autumn 30-day challenge on the Four Directions Wellness Facebook page. Quick, simple daily techniques to begin to bring mindfulness and meditation into our lives, helping to begin the process of reducing stress and bringing awareness back to each person.
Take time today to learn more about the mind-body techniques and which you would like to incorporate into your life. Here’s to your health and wholeness!