How Our Emotions Affect Our Body (and other things you've never thought of).
If you’ve been hanging around our blog for a while then you’re likely familiar with our obsession with the body’s ability to secretly hold onto tension. On the blog, we tend to focus a lot of energy on uncovering the cause and effect of stiffness and injuries caused by sitting all day and poorly set up ergonomic workspace because… well, we sell chairs and that just makes sense.
I’ve said it before (and I’m sure I’ll say it a million more times) but our chairs are not a solution to your pain- they are a tool to help you live a more well rounded, ergonomic, healthy life We are so determined to make this tool kit of information accessible for you I’ve written a full-fledged e-book about it. You can grab a copy of it here (I’ll give you a full rundown on the e-book at the end of this post, so keep reading!)
In order to make an actual impact on lessening our ailments, we have to really look inwards at ourselves. Think of it like going to the gym. Starting a new workout regime is great but you won’t truly start reaping the benefits of seeing the results you want until you change your diet too. It’s an all hands on deck sort of situation.
What’s been drawing our attention lately is all of the things outside of our physical habits and “environmental stressors” that are affecting our posture, tension, and pain. We’ve got a good handle on the physical changes we need to make, but what’s so much more complex and subjective is the mental game tension can play. It can be so daunting to even attempt to dig into our past to get to the root of our tension.
Stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another, but that doesn’t make it any less valid or legitimate. Some people are better able to handle stress than others. Not all stress is bad. In small doses, stress can help you accomplish tasks and prevent you from getting hurt. For example, stress is what gets you to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of you. That's a good thing.
Our bodies are designed to handle small doses of stress. But, we are not equipped to handle long-term, chronic stress without consequences.
Personally, I’m a big “stiff neck” girl. If I’ve got something important I need to prep for, or if I’m going through something particularly emotionally difficult, I’ll clench my jaw all night causing me to have a terrible sleep and then wake up with a stiff neck which is usually accompanied by a throbbing headache that lasts three days.
No part of the body is immune to the effects of emotional stress. But, because people handle stress differently, symptoms of stress can vary. Symptoms can be vague and maybe the same as those caused by medical conditions, so it is important to discuss them with your doctor. If you’re like me and never have a clue that something you’re feeling (mentally or physically) could actually be a symptom for a bigger issue (like stress) I’ve made you a handy dandy list of symptoms caused from stress and emotional tension.
What Are the Consequences of Long-Term Stress?
A little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:
- Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
- Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
- Obesity and other eating disorders
- Menstrual problems
- Loss of sexual desire in both men and women
- Acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
- Gastrointestinal problem gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon
…..is this stressing you out?
Let’s Reign It In.
We aren’t trying to kid anyone! Stress is unavoidable and just like everything else in life it has its peaks and valleys.
There are of course plenty of resources out there for people struggling with major trauma and chronic mental illness. If you’re one of those people we urge you to seek out professional care. You are not alone, so why deal with it alone?
For the basic day to day stresses one of the best things we can do is acknowledge it. Saying “Hey! Yo!” to our anxiety and stress can take a surprising amount of power away from it. A key in dealing with the effect so it doesn’t end up making itself at home in your body is to not suppress and ignore the feeling when you’re having them.
When we suppress our feelings or emotions it can so easily start to make itself at home in our physical body. Our neck, shoulders and hips are some of its favorite places to snuggle in. When this happens there are plenty of ways to restore your body back to a less stressed version of itself.
We (obviously) recommend starting by treating yourself to a comfortable healthy chair (like this one!). Being productive, meeting your deadlines and checking things off your to-do list is a great way to make sure your stress levels are kept at a minimum and a good work set up is key in having a productive day.
We also love a good yoga class. Not only does yoga target a lot of the areas that are misused and abused from sitting all day but it’s also great for re-centering your mind (ICYMI- we have a whole post about yoga here) so it does double duty. When our minds are relaxed our bodies are relaxed. Let’s repeat that ten times and follow with a nice loud “OOOOMM”.
It would be silly to think our emotions and our bodies aren’t closely connected. Just think about your posture when you’re upset or depressed- you’re hunched over, probably burritoed in your favorite blanket watching My Girl for the 100th time and crying just as hard as you did the first time you watched it when you were 10. You’re physically embodying the tragedy losing Thomas J to his bee sting allergy. And this is FINE, you gotta let it out! What’s important is that on our good days we are paying attention to any remnants of those feelings that clung to our muscles and nestle into our joints.
If you want to learn more about how to effectively spot, target and eliminate your pain and tension points- I’ve got good news! We’ve recently launched our first e-book “The Essential Toolkit for Living Your Most Ergonomic Life”.It’s a perfect companion piece for our chairs and once you read it we promise you’ll feel fully equipped to live a pain-free, productive life. We are so excited to bring this to you all we’ve included a 10% off discount code off to our entire collection inside the e-book to make living your most ergo life even more possible!
Having a work set up that helps you remain happy and healthy should not be expensive, or difficult to obtain. We are working our tails off to make it accessible to everyone and provide you with as much free information and education as possible.
Is there something you’re dying for us to cover, or something you’re curious about? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what’s on your mind! My inbox is always open and I’d love to help you out!