Some have read my past posts on how our spirituality can lead to a less stressful life. In this blog, I am dealing with yet another aspect of our being that affects our lives as well – our emotional health. Over the past week, I have had the misfortune of catching yet another nasty bout of bronchitis and nasal congestion. While I could blame the lack of rest, an overabundance of “things to do” on both my personal and career life, the underlying factors for each of these is simple. Something else is keeping me occupied and emotionally drained. Having a very hectic home life with two sons with ASD, a husband with Asperger’s, and an even busier work schedule with long hours and stress, to add on a writing career seems like insanity to some. I keep myself busy so I don’t think about any one thing for too long because I am emotionally spent.
There are days when the frustration of dealing with appointments, therapies, and the education or medical system becomes too much. Having no support network socially or emotionally for this frustration does not help me. Couple this with a work situation that requires me to constantly put my best face forward, denying myself the comfort of venting to any co-workers or colleagues, or being able to trust someone in confidence all that I am hurt over leaves me spent on a daily basis. With these two aspects of my life alone, I am exhausted on a daily basis. So it is little wonder why by the middle of this week I contracted my fifth bout with bronchitis for the year. My emotional health is a mess, so how can I possibly expect my physical health to be sound? I can’t.
In an article in Higher Perspective, science has proven that negative emotions have an impact on our physical health in various ways (for the full article, go to http://www.higherperspectives.com/negative-emotions-1406167022.html). According to the article different parts of the body are affected by different negative emotions. For example, when we feel burdened by something, some form of illness or strain appears in our shoulders (giving new meaning to the phrase “carrying the weight on our shoulders”). Another example would be some form of discomfort in our spine or back whenever we feel unloved, a lack of support from loved ones, or guilt over a situation. These manifestations are just examples, but you get the idea.
The bottom line is that our emotional state of mind can and does have a negative impact on our bodies. I am currently proof of that with my many stresses and now physical ailments (some of which are ongoing). Hippocrates said it best:
“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.” – Hippocrates
Essentially, we have to be able to confront our negative emotions if we desire to change our physical health. Yes, it is easier said than done, but not impossible.
In The Last Prophet, Uriel’s Light – Book Four, one of the main characters must come to accept this truth if she desires to be healed or to at least lessen her physical symptomology from her illness. This is also seen in The Last Prophet, Michael’s Mission – Book Two, where the main character must take care of her mental health in order for her physical health to improve. Whether it is anxiety, or mental stress from burdens or depression, these all have effects on our bodies. It goes without say, then, that taking care of our minds and our hearts will also help to take care of our bodies. I would even take it a step further by saying it is equally important to take care of our spirit as well (but I’ve said this before in previous posts).
So how will I take care of myself now? I am learning the artful technique of delegating tasks to others, which allows me to let go of control. I don’t have to be in control of everything at home or at work. At work, I have learned that people appreciate when you recognize and ask them to use their talents and special gifts to complete something that makes them look good on your behalf. They not only help me get the job done, it also makes them look good in the process. It becomes a win-win situation. I’m not stressed, and they get to add something to their skill set on their portfolio.
I am also learning to be okay with things not being done exactly the way I would like them or would have done them. My husband doesn’t do things the same way I do when it comes to our children… and that’s okay. He’s a dad, not a mom. Parents do things differently, but they get the job done when it comes to their children’s well-being. I have to be okay with my spouse not doing all the other “extra” little things I like to do for our boys. He at least gets the job done. The boys are clean, fed, dressed, and happy because they know both mommy and daddy love them. That’s all that matters.
In terms of my writing career, I am learning to pace myself to write on a schedule. This includes making sure I rest enough prior to a big day of writing, much like a person would just before going into a big test or big event the day before. I have begun dedicating every Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon to writing and I put out the “Writer At Work – Do Not Disturb” sign for everyone. This includes access to social media so as not to be tempted by Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, or Goodreads… and more.
You may be thinking that it is very “planned,” but it is an experiment right now in keeping myself stress free, emotionally and mentally sound, and physically healthy. To keep myself spiritually sound, my family and I have begun attending church services early in the morning together before beginning our busy day. Our day is a blessing given to us, so we want to thank the Creator for giving us another day to be a blessing in return. These are the steps I am taking (and not alone, I might add), and hope the results will be fruitful in the near future.
How has your emotional health affected your physical health? What do you do to address issues in either? Comment in the space provided.
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