Stress! Some call it the mother of all disease. There are so many different things that can cause stress in our lives. Various factors such as money, work or family can represent important stressors. But what if we looked at it from a more global yet personal perspective: yours.The more you distance yourself from the person you want to be and the life that you actually want to lead, the more stress you feel due to the internal conflict brewing inside of you. When your true self is not in accord with the reality you are experiencing, the more uncomfortable you will feel in your own skin. The reason for this is because deep down, you are aware that you are living a life that is not you own. Self-alienation can be the first sign that you are walking in the opposite direction of where you really want to go. The more you walk away from the real you, the more that feeling of inadequacy will grow.

The truth is we all have an essence, something that makes us unique, something that makes us “us”. And when we fail to listen to ourselves, feelings of frustration, resentment, unfulfillment and stress can arise. There are many reasons that can lead us to losing ourselves such as societal pressure and fear. But what we all tend to forget is that fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.
In our society we have become so accustomed to looking for the external cause of our discomfort that we forget to look within. Whenever we feel “off”, it is often our first reaction to search for the person or the situation that is causing us to feel stressed out ignoring that being out of tune with ourselves might have a little more to do with our discomfort than we dare to imagine.

1.Going against your intuition and against what you know deep down is right for you. We often let the voice of those surrounding us drown our inner voice. Going against what you instinctively know is best for you can cause disharmony by distancing you from the person you are meant to be. Trust your gut feeling!

2. Your thoughts: We may not realize it but our thoughts have a lot more power than we dare to imagine. Your body hears everything your mind thinks and a simple thought has the power to affect how we feel at every level often evoking an emotion and even a physical response. A thought can cause us to feel sad, anxious or even cause us tears. Conversely, a pleasant thought can evoke a sense of joy, calm and can make us smile. Choose your thoughts carefully!

3.Not listening to your body: Before the physical effects of stress even begin to manifest, your body will have sent you several signals that you are headed in the wrong direction. Perhaps you are feeling a bit more tired than usual? Could your body be asking you to slow down? Asking you for rest? Instead of heading to the nearest coffee shop and working against what your body is telling you, hit the pillow! Remember, “your physical body is a direct reflection of the state of your inner self”. Dismissing all the signs can be very damaging as it can lead us feel disconnected from ourselves.

Many have often felt the sensation of something feeling ‘’off’’, only to be told that everything is physically fine. In the absence of concrete proof or evidence, we are sometimes told that our discomfort doesn’t exist. That it only exists in our head. This can be very frustrating as it can lead us to question, to second-guess and even mistrust ourselves.

As writer Linda Kohanov puts it, “one of our culture’s most powerful and damaging myths is that the universe and every creature in it work according to predictable, mechanical laws. The resulting overemphasis on scientific validation leads to a certain ineptitude in the ephemeral realms of emotion, imagination and intuition. If a phenomenon can’t be consistently and predictably measured or re-created in experiments, its existence is often denied”.

Remember no one knows you better than you. Learn to trust yourself and listen to your body, to your inner voice. What is your whole being telling? Listen closely. Do you hear it?

Sources:
The Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov
Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself! by Lise Bourbeau

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