We also shared about our recent stressful events … Nancy was in a crazy flash flood while camping in Moab, Utah and I had a challenging situation with a coaching client who bullied and threatened me. Both incidents were traumatizing for us—Nancy’s was a BIG T, mine was a little t.
As a student of the mind-body connection for over 30-years, I am certain of the saying “the issues are in the tissues.”
That when stressful life and work situations happen upon us—it is possible that our bodies manifest our unprocessed emotions in the form of physical pain.
Truly, as I sit here in my sixth week with this knee thing, I know that it was brought on by that client stress that I endured late Summer. Just like I know Nancy’s backache came from her life-threatening experience. Neither of us had any impact, fall, twist, or accident. Both of us had high stress—and now have pain.
In fact, as I reflect on the aches and pains I have experienced in my life—and there have been many—I know that most came from and during challenging times.
Like the time both of my shoulders hurt after my favorite Next Generation Yoga assistant gave notice. Or the time all my joints got tingly and tight after I anxiously left India at the onset of the pandemic. Or the time I had an old toothache flare up when my mom was going through cancer.
And it makes sense that fearing, catastrophizing, and worrying about the pain doesn’t help, either. That’s just feeding the nervous system with more stress hormones and—from a brain science perspective—the neural pathways get hooked in pain.
So how do we heal from these out of know-where body pains that stem from stress and repressed emotions?
While yes, I am doing physical therapy and strengthening exercises, but more-so I am doing the inner work. More-so, I am looking at what hurts inside. What emotions were stirred from that stressful experience? What feelings might need tending? What issues are in my tissues!?
I journal. I breathe. I emotional release.
I process with my business coach because all parts—including the emotional and physical—impact my work.
I also do things I love—like daily walking, gently hiking, and lightly dancing—because distraction from the pain is my friend and access to forming new neural pathways.
Dear one, have you also experienced pain or symptoms like a sudden headache appear, a rash come on, or a random stomach situation—and while it seems out of know where—it is likely that life and work stress could be the cause. And, that neuroplasticity also plays a role in prolonging the situation.
If you are feeling pain, sensation, or discomfort perhaps your way out is to consider what recently happened in your life or work that may have caused such a physical manifestation. Was there a trauma? A transition? A loss?
If yes, and there was no accident or overt injury—then you may want to consider ways that you can release the stress and those repressed emotions from your body. You may want to try journaling, pillow pounding, or talking to a therapist or a coach.
Personally, I find the mind-body relationship fascinating. If you do too and suspect you have been through a similar journey with stress manifesting in the form of physical pain—I’d love to hear from you. As always, you’re welcome to share your experience with me.