How stress will harm you and why worrying is useless

For the past week I had a toothache on the left side of my mouth and I was not getting a decent night’s sleep. I wondered if my wisdom teeth were perhaps surfacing again, however I knew that couldn’t be the case as they had fully surfaced about eight years ago. I then had a painful mouth ulcer since I’d been tensing my jaw at night and bit the side of my mouth. “Is the mouth ulcer the cause of the pain or the effect?” I asked myself. I then even considered that the issue may be tooth decay, even though I knew that my teeth are in pristine condition! I was adamant that there was something physically wrong yet I couldn’t figure it out and so to the Dentist’s I went.

I had a brief chat with my dentist and explained what I had been experiencing. I mentioned that I had been taking painkillers to take the edge off and that the pain wasn’t going. He checked my teeth and noticed right away that I hadn’t been sleeping properly since the lack of REM sleep left ridges on my tongue. After seeing that there was nothing wrong with my teeth, he even did an x-ray for extra precaution. Again, there was nothing wrong. I was then told that all of the pain I was feeling was due to stress.

I can never clearly identify when I’m stressed out until my body tells me, whether it be with a flu or tight jaw. We are taught to internalise our worries and so we neglect that they’re there by sugar-coating them or numbing them through external stimulants. While stress and worry are unpleasant emotions, they’re something we need for survival but they become destructive when we let them consume us and our health.

If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. – Kris Carr

On one hand I was relieved that there was nothing wrong with my teeth. I now knew what the issue was and I could deal with it myself. Yet on the other hand, I couldn’t believe that I had stressed myself out so much that it took me practically chewing off the side of mouth to realise that I was neglecting my emotional health. It’s in these moments that we must go within and check where we’re at in our mind and heart.

While I love helping my close ones out, I had been helping them with their finances and putting myself out there all to the detriment of myself. I was tight for money myself yet I helped my friends and family without seeing that in reality, I was then stressing about how I was going to manage my own finances. I was also overthinking about everything I needed to do before the end of the year and so the pressure of time constraint was adding to my worries. After I listened to my worries, I then focused on the solution and said,

“Who cares?! If something doesn’t work out as ‘planned’ or get resolved by a certain time, the world isn’t going to end!”

Now I’m not saying don’t help others, but take a look at yourself and think about whether you’re in a position to help or not. You may be at a point where you need to focus on filling yourself up first. Focusing on your needs doesn’t make you a bad person or selfish, remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup! Make sure you’re prioritising yourself otherwise you’ll run yourself into the ground. Don’t pressure yourself into anything you’re uncomfortable with. Let yourself have down-time, we don’t always have to have the energy for others and we don’t always have to be ‘doing’ something… many times we just need to be present.

Everything works out in the end and it’s when we feel peace and let go of all worry that the Universe can help us. It’s not our job to have everything figured out – it’s quite funny how we try to control everything and force the river when really we need to be happy and stress-free in order to receive what we want.

Since I’ve made the decision to fill myself up with positivity and self-care, I’ve been sleeping well again and the ‘toothache’ has gone. I’ve let go of all worry, and lo and behold everything seems to be falling into place in my life! We are told that the Universe has our back and that when we feel good, we are on the frequency of receiving everything good. Not only does it feel liberating to focus on myself and make my happiness a priority, I also feel empowered now that I’m putting my needs first as opposed to neglecting how I truly feel. I feel at one with my life again and there’s no pressure to ‘get everything done’ in order to stay on top of everything.

Key things to remember when you’re stressed or worried: 

Listen to yourself – What’s really going on in your head and heart? It’s OK to be worried about something but then ask yourself how you can remove that worrisome feeling and let it go.

Your body is your home – If you’re letting in destructive thoughts and feelings, numbing the pain won’t help and your body WILL make it very clear to you through pain or illness that you’re not 100% at ease.

Disease cannot live in a body that’s in a healthy emotional state. – Bob Proctor

Honour your needs – Have a healthy attitude towards your emotional wellbeing and care for yourself. You are an important being and a child of the Universe.

Time goes on – These issues you’re facing wont last forever, unless you let them consume you. Change is a constant in life, look back to other times where you were stressed and how those situations dissipated to now mean nothing.

If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. E. Joseph Cossman

Finally, stress really is only a thought – This quote from Wayne Dyer sums it up perfectly,

The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world; it’s your thoughts that create these false beliefs. You can’t package stress, touch it, or see it. There are only people engaged in stressful thinking. – Wayne Dyer

There will always be problems we need to face but we have the power to alter our mindset and reactions. Today and every day, make the decision to let go of all worries and stress. Watch how the Universe helps you when you do and how much better life is!

-end-

Imag credit:
Naomi August

Advertisements

The illusion of time in relation to joy

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.” – Mitch Albom; The Time Keeper.

I have been thinking about the concept of time the past few days. Time is man-made however this physical reality we live in is linear. I remember watching a show a few years ago on near death experiences and I heard one man say of his experience that in the afterlife, there is no concept of time whatsoever. This blew my mind. Imagine living in a world where there’s no such thing as time. No past, present or future. No need to keep track of the minutes, hours or dates. Just being where you are. Ekhart Tolle has a whole book on being in the present moment, The Power of Now. However, remaining focused solely on the present moment and preventing the mind from wandering is difficult since we’re conditioned to live our lives around time. It’s not impossible though as there are moments in which we naturally focus on the present. Such moments can be found whilst doing creative work, savouring time spent with friends, family, your lover. Days spent at the theme park or extreme activities such as mountain climbing or sky diving also naturally encourage relishing in the present moment. These events take us away and we forget the need to be on our phone or checking the time to ensure that we are on track or waiting for the next moment before it’s arrived. As a result, the beauty of life is appreciated and joy is felt.

When time is forgotten, life is so fun and stress free. Obviously everybody has responsibilities and so cannot really eliminate time from their life. However I look back on my life last summer with a strong feeling of freedom associated to it. I had graduated university and was having a whale of a time. I actually felt as though I had all the time in the world and life had just begun. The world was my oyster and I was spending my free days being unemployed gaining work experience or meeting friends. As time went on (the irony) I began to feel that I needed to begin proving myself or before I knew it, I’d be looking back at myself in disappointment. Disappointment that I had let time slip away and wasn’t attaining what I desired such as pursuing my dreams and a career. Those thoughts were fear based and false since fear is an illusion. Whilst I was enjoying myself, the opportunities were coming to me anyway and I was focused on the freedom before me.

Earlier this year I felt stagnant. I felt as if time was running out and I was just watching the days pass. Nothing seemed to be going my way and I was not having as much carefree fun as I had in the summer. The days became boring and I felt that my time was worthless. During the first half of this year, I had chosen to see my time as wasted when really everything works out how it’s supposed to. I was too focused on everything I was lacking which happens easily when the mind has too much time to wander and isn’t tamed. The abundance I felt last summer had gone as I felt a lack of it in time and opportunities. Thankfully I am enjoying myself again and see structure and value to my days. I am seeing and embracing opportunities and no longer feel stagnant or lack.

“Time is an illusion.” – Albert Einstein

The illusion of time and not having enough reduces joy. It increases stress and the feeling of life slipping away. Where do such feelings and thoughts come from? Our ego. The mind craves control and the ego is fear based. Choose freedom. There is a feeling of freedom found in detaching from the notion of time as life begins to be viewed with an open mind. With freedom in your heart and an open mind, joy is felt a lot easier in each moment.

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” – Ekhart Tolle; The Power of Now

Time is precious as we each have the power to bring value to it through meaningful moments and events. Therefore the concept of time is best utilised to our advantage by making it enjoyable rather than letting it be a disadvantage through lack of presence.