Monday, August 13, 2012

Your body can tell you

Sometimes a client will have so much going on in her life that her head is just swimming with details, to-do lists, "shoulds" and questions. I know that feeling.

So when I ask, "Where are you today?" she isn't even sure. It's tough to pinpoint when so much is swirling around. And it's difficult to work on things when focus isn't even possible.

Has that happened to you? Those are the times to pause, breathe deeply for a little while and then check in with different parts of your body. Where are you feeling tension? Your neck? Back? Legs? What is the nature of the tension? Like something pressing down on you? Constricting? Knots in your neck and shoulders? When have you felt that type of stress in that area before? And what did it signal?

Your body knows
Generally, checking in with your body will help you focus on what's happening right at that moment—and tell you what needs attention. Remember to do what you can to slow down your breathing—and to deepen it, too. Often when we're extremely stressed, our breathing is shallow and rapid, causing us to be even more stressed.

Once you focus on what's going on with you in that moment, imagine putting all the other issues in a drawer temporarily so you can deal with what most needs your attention. You can always go back to the drawer to pull out another problem or issue when you're ready to tackle it. Face your stress a little at a time—don't try to take it all in a single bite! And let your body help you.

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