Anxiety: It’s Not Just About Stress

by Sherianna Boyle
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Stress is the way your body is attempting to cope and adapt to a situation. A work deadline, getting your kids to school on time or worrying about making ends meet. While having some stress can actually be a good thing as it can motivate you to get out of bed, go to the gym or tackle that to-do list, too much stress can create wear and tear on your body and brain. Up until now, most of the focus on stress has been how to harass and regulate it. While giving people a plethora of tools and strategies for coping with and using stress in positive ways can be a good thing, there is one major component, which has been missing and that is how stress impacts the processing of your emotions.

You see what I have learned is you can’t have a symptom of stress, or anxiety for that matter without having an emotion. While most of our focus has been on alleviating the stress response, I find this is only half of the equation. Sure reducing symptoms of stress so it doesn’t lead to anxiety or heart disease is great, however, at some point, you ought to address the source of what is really happening and that is unprocessed emotions.

Unprocessed emotions are feelings attempting to surface but can’t because we have been trained to not let them. In other words, when a moment of discomfort or stress comes in, we have been conditioned to see them as “symptoms” when in fact, in my experience, these so-called “symptoms” are actually emotions. When emotions are treated as symptoms then they have no choice but to bury themselves within the fabric of your cells and tissue.

The challenge is unprocessed emotions contribute to inflammation, poor cellular turnover, and reduced blood flow. So where do we go from here? The way I see it, is it is time to provide another angel, could the stress response be a signal that you have unconscious, buried emotions looking to be released? I am going to say that is exactly what is happening and that is why I am on a mission to get people feeling again.

So next time you feel your heart rate increase, bodily tension or those dreaded fearful thoughts running consider this, your body has some emotions looking to be attended to. While taking a walk, stretching or breathing can help alleviate those symptoms, consider, taking it one step further, and saying to your body, thank you for bringing these emotions to my attention and I am choosing to feel them right now.

Sherianna Boyle
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