Whether you are an adult or a child, we all experience significant levels of stress every day. This stress can stem from a variety of sources—demands at home, work, or school. It can come from real-life interactions with other people—strangers, acquaintances, and even loved ones. It can come from virtual interactions online or from the number of likes we receive (or don’t receive) on our Instagram feed. The stress we experience every day can be related to a mental health diagnosis, like anxiety or depression, or it can exist apart from any diagnosis at all.
And this stress doesn’t just live in our head. It becomes stored in our bodies in a variety of ways. You may notice it as a persistent headache or back pain. You may notice that your jaw is constantly tight or your brow is strained. You may not even be able to pinpoint an exact location, but you have difficulty sleeping or notice general physical discomfort from time to time. This is stress living in your body.
So what do we do about it? Lots of things. We pay closer attention to how we care for ourselves—our eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. We see a talk therapist. We see a doctor. We take medication as it is prescribed. And we establish mindful practices that help us explore, understand, and alleviate the stress that is stored in our bodies. That’s where I come in.