You know that tingly feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you’ve found yourself smack dab in the middle of some major (or minor) life/work/emotional/romantic crisis? Your palms start to sweat, your heart rate increases, and your vision blurs a bit while the adrenalin is pumping.
The physiological definition of stress (according to Webster’s Dictionary) is quite interesting: “…a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.” We know that stress is necessary in all of our lives; otherwise the runaway bus that is hurling down the street in our direction would be of no interest. We rely on stress to keep us out of trouble, but for many it’s the stress itself that is putting us in harm’s way.
About six months ago, I was experiencing constant pain throughout my shoulders, neck, and back. Although I practice yoga and am active and healthy, I just couldn’t shake the consistent soreness. I decided to see a chiropractor for some help. We went through the typical new patient questions, just giving him a brief synopsis of my life. As he was checking my pulse, he looked up at my cautiously.
“Am I making you nervous?”
I felt bad that he would think this.
“No.” I told him.
At that moment we were talking about my job, and I was explaining the agonizing toxicity of the environment. He then told me that my heart rate was so elevated in reaction to this conversation that as a medical professional he should admit me to the hospital. He blatantly told me that if my heart continues to be regularly put under such duress, I will have a heart attack before I turn 30.
Where did I go wrong? How did I end up here? I always thrived under stress; I felt like that was really when I had the opportunity to shine. How was I so oblivious to the fact that my life consisted of endless strands of sweat-inducing, gut flipping, nail biting melodramas? I had to ask myself: “Is this job really worth it?” I know that many of us deal with the same basic question whether in regards to our relationships, money, family or fears. Needless to say, my answer was no and I immediately realized the urgency for a major life overhaul.
I quit my job and started collecting the pieces of myself that were left in the wake of my stress-induced binge. I discovered how dreadfully out of balance life had become for me. I made a promise to reconnect with My Mind, My Body, and My Spirit and to never again lose touch of their enormous gravity.
I am beyond grateful to welcome this refreshing sense of peace back into my life. I am ecstatic as a I start my next journey to intimately understand the peace we all seek.