What are your symptoms telling you about yourself? Do you get headaches when youíre angry? Does anxiety find a home in the pit of your stomach? Do you find that you habitually get sprains and bruises on one side of your body? Mastering the language of your symptoms can actually increase your potential for healing.
We can learn to decode the messages that underlie illness. Here is a simple Body Awareness Review that will get you started.
1. Be aware of times when you are irritated for frustrated.
Take note of where you are experiencing those feelings in your body. If you are stuck in a traffic jam, a client is late for an appointment, or the children keep interrupting your conversation, what happens to your breathing, shoulders, back, or stomach?
2. Observe anxiety reactions.
What happens in your body when you are worried or anxious about something (perhaps a child is late coming home, you have to give a presentation, or you are about to receive the results of your partnerís blood test?) Where do you hold the anxiety? What physical effects does it have? Do fears about the future create a pain in your stomach? Or in your legs?
3. Watch your reactions.
If your boss or your partner shouts at you, what happens to your heart, your head, your insides? Is your headache because you were shouted at, or because you feel insecure and angry? What do you do with angry feelings? DO you express them, or is there somewhere you put them? So you swallow hard, clench your muscles, or get constipated?
4. Observe the effects of memories.
What happens if you recall past events? Do you feel warm and relaxed, or do you break out in a sweat and feel nervous? Pay particular attention to what happens when you recall unhappy memories, perhaps when a parent hit you or you were bullied at school. As you follow these memories, watch where in your body there is a reaction.
5. Analyze illness and injuries.
Think back to past illnesses or times when you were hurt. Note the parts of your body that were involved. Have you always held your stomach muscles tight? Have you always had recurring headaches? Have you always hurt on the same side of your body?
Observe yourself, your reactions, and your body. As you do this, you will begin to see how closely all the different parts of your being, both physical and psycho-emotional, are interwoven.
Adapted from Your Body Speaks Your Mind, by Deb Shapiro (Sounds True, 2006). Copyright (c) 2006 by Deb Shapiro. Reprinted by permission of Sounds True.
Adapted from Your Body Speaks Your Mind, by Deb Shapiro (Sounds True, 2006).