Our bodies are funny creatures, recognizing and reacting to trouble even before our minds have suitably taken stock of the issue. We break out, toss and turn in bed, feel sluggish and tired, or depressed; often it takes a few of these signs, building up over the course of a few days or weeks, for our brains to realize that there is a bigger problem.
While diet and exercise naturally play a role in how our bodies cope with stressors, sometimes a person can be doing everything right, and still find pimples speckling their nose, or sleep consistently eluding them.
Eventually we sit down and delve beyond the surface solutions – or we ought to. When cutting out sugar, or taking long walks, or meditating before bed are just not having the effect we know they should, it’s really time to seek out the deeper root of the problem.
Often the truly troublesome matter is something with which we thought we had dealt, otherwise it would not have taken us days and days to become conscious of it. Sometimes it is something we are well aware is weighing on us, but that we have decided to push to the side to focus on other problems, or to give ourselves that welcome feeling that we’re carefree for a rare while.
The problem is, we aren’t. A job that is not challenging enough; lingering animosity in a relationship; financial worries – any of these issues can put incredible strain on our brains (and by association, our bodies), even when everything else in life is just peachy. And this single example of discontent can re-colour our overall circumstance a pretty nasty shade of gray, too. Suddenly the upcoming move to another city is more of a bane than a boon, and the birthday party so highly anticipated begins to threaten the concealment of marital tension.
There is only one solution: deal with the problem! Whether it requires writing up a budget to show you that while you may not have money left over this month, you will at least break even, or overcoming your fear and finally confronting that person about the things that have upset you, there is no shortcut. Your body will continue to wage war until that heavy load its been toting has been lifted, or at least eased.
It could be as quick a fix as an afternoon of reflection, finding a few things to do when you’re not at work that will sate your need for a more strenuous mental workout. Or it could be as complex as therapy sessions and a second job. But whatever the strain of the solution, it is bound to be better than the alternative.
We all deserve unlimited happiness, but the path to this contentment often reveals a roadblock at every turn. I truly believe that each obstacle makes us stronger, but we can’t skirt them – we have to face them, parry and charge, and overcome. Once we prevail, we will have to prevail again, but each time becomes a little easier, and we become a little stronger. Because if there’s one thing problems and facing these problems accomplishes in the end, it is offering us a clearer vision of who we are.
All we have to do is choose to see it.