Don’t Store Stress in Your Body!
How many of us are guilty of pushing our feelings and emotions out of the way to appear normal? The answer would be most of us. Many of us repress our feelings of frustration, anger, sadness or fear as they make us feel hopeless or powerless.
How the Body Stores Stress?
To gain a semblance of control, we either deny ourselves our true emotions or repress them to deal with the situation at hand. However, this is not a healthy habit as the stress gets stored in our body and comes to light in the form of mysterious aches and pains. This is known as ‘somatization’.
Experts suggest that we must accept and acknowledge our feelings and never disown what we are going through. The unwanted feelings create psychosomatic responses in our bodies leading to recurring pains and other mysterious ailments. Read on to find out about 12 places where your body stores stress and how it affects your health:
12 Places Where Your Body Stores Stress
- Lower Back
Our lower backs store most of our unexpressed anger. Many people develop severe and debilitating pain in the lumbar region of the back. Chronic stress activates the sympathetic nervous system that puts pressure on the spinal cord. To offer some relief to your tired body, learn to express your anger in clear, simple terms and articulate your frustration to the concerned people. Over a period of time, you will learn how to use your anger to fuel your personal and creative growth. Assert yourself to give yourself control over the situation. This will lead to healthier relationships and a healthier body, especially your back.
- Your Gut
There is a reason why people lose control over their bladders or their bowels when they are scared. Our stomachs and intestines store our feelings of fear. The adage, ‘I am sick to my stomach’ justifies this. Fear is another negative emotion that has far-reaching repercussions on our health. It can cause digestion problems, pain in the gut, bloating, constipation and even Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Peppermint tea helps in calming the stomach. Also, accept your fear and the reasons why you are feeling it and talk to someone you trust to get a hold over yourself. Research believes that if you talk about your fears openly, it has a lesser control over your health.
- Your Torso
Our chests and our hearts store the hurt that we experience through the actions of others. Those who repress their feelings of hurt, usually complain of mysterious chest pains. In most cases, no physical cause of pain is diagnosed. Stress leads to shallow breathing and a feeling of tightness in the chest. Some people even experience panic attacks. Deep breathing exercises bring relief to chest tightness and reduce anxiety. Mourn your losses, and honor your feelings by experiencing them to the fullest, even if they are of sadness or hurt. Once you have allowed yourself to feel what demands to be felt, you will feel lighter, as will your chest and your heart.
- Your Head
Do you feel out of control and then immediately suffer from headaches? This is because any feelings that make us feel that we are losing control over our lives or the situation lead to affecting our heads. The problem becomes a recurring theme in the lives of those who are control-freaks and may even turn into a chronic problem of migraines.
- The Respiratory System
Our breaths have a way of signaling our state of mind. If we are calm, our breaths are deep whereas if we are under stress, we have shallow breaths. Those who face too much stress over a period of time tend to suffer from breathing difficulties. Many people begin having panic attacks. Practice deep breathing exercises to train your mind to stay calm.
- Your Shoulders
If you have been feeling overburdened, you will feel a tightening of the shoulders and the neck muscles. This is a natural psychosomatic response of the body to overwork and too many responsibilities. Try to share your work with someone else or ask for support to reduce pressure on yourself and your body.
- Your Voice and Throat
Those who have faced oppressive environment tend to have issues with their voices and throats. Many develop stammering problems. Some even lose their voice completely. Reading poetry aloud and keeping a journal have known to help those who suffer from voice and throat problems.
- Your Sleep
Another area that gets affected by stress is our sleep cycle. Insomnia hits those who are dealing with intense personal growth or some life-impacting change, tend to lose their sleep. A long period of insomnia can cause serious health problems like diabetes, hypertension, and others.
- Your Jaw
Many people clench their jaws and grind their teeth while responding to stress. This strains the neck muscles and tightens them as most people unconsciously push their necks forward. Frown lines on the forehead and the painful jaw are the side effects of this habit.
- Your Pelvic Floor
Another body area that stores stress is the pelvic floor. This causes tight hips and a severed connection with the core muscles. The webbing in the pelvic region and the connective tissues respond negatively to the stress elements around us causing a stiffening which leads to various health problems.
- The Hips
The hips are responsible for our feelings of security and physical freedom. They lose their tone and shape when we face stress in life. They help us keep our posture and tightened hips many times are the reason why people begin suffering from back pain. When we carry old disappointments, illusions of how lives could have shaped, and pain from the past, our hips bear the brunt of this emotional damage. Do hip-opening yoga poses and pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your body.
- Your Lungs
Many of us store stress in the diaphragm as we hunch our backs and move forward without realizing it. This causes constriction in the chest region and stresses the lungs due to lack of space. This leads us to feel exhausted and causes breathlessness.
The psychic stress of repressing our feelings leads to many physical problems in the body. Taking care of one’s feeling by talking to someone you trust forms an important part of psychotherapy. When we take care of ourselves better, we take care of those around us in a more rewarding manner. Know more about stress management.
Read More: Stress Eating: Foods to Eat and Avoid