Kathy Whelan

Posted on March 09, 2017

I’m not talking here about tripping and doing a faceplant on the sidewalk. I’m talking about the kind of emotional balance that helps us face the day with optimism, roll (for the most part) with the day’s events, and go to sleep at night without tossing and turning for hours. We will always have days, weeks, months even, when we lose our balance − when we struggle with a problem at work, when we are at odds with a friend or family member, when we are sick or are caring for someone who is. But if these times of imbalance are too frequent or last too long – when they become chronic − we could develop problems beyond those that are preoccupying us. 

As I talk with friends, acquaintances, and even strangers lately, I hear of more people who say they are losing their balance. They feel anger, fear, concern, disappointment, betrayal, frustration − you name the emotion, it’s being felt intensely by someone. No matter where you live or what your politics are, we are all feeling something we didn’t feel before. Whether it’s concern about the state of the world or hurt because a long-time friend now seems aloof and unable to engage, our feelings are real, and our bodies are noticing.  

“What can I do?” we ask ourselves. Losing our balance is uncomfortable and we want to do something to restore it. Some of us are action-oriented. We feel better when we write a letter expressing our views, go to a rally, boycott an event or an institution that doesn’t align with our beliefs, or simply take a long run outdoors. Others are soothed by a heart-to-heart talk with a friend or a trip to the art museum or the theater.  Some of us meditate or practice yoga.

The point is this: Know yourself and what works for you, not just today but every day. Have a plan to deal with your feelings of imbalance, and make sure it’s working, not making you feel worse. The stress hormones triggered by challenges can be positive when we’re in physical danger or dealing with an immediate threat, but they can lead to health problems when stress goes on too long. The kind of stress I’m talking about − let’s call it “social stress” to give it a name − can lead to such physical symptoms as high blood pressure, heart problems, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia and the resulting fatigue, ulcers, headaches, and anxiety, to name just a few.  

Please don’t let any of these things happen to you. If you’ve tried to manage your social stress and haven’t succeeded, or you just want a partner to help you find a plan uniquely suited to you and the realities of your life, consider engaging an Integrative Health Coach. I am here to help! The connection between your mind and your body is powerful, and I understand that. I can’t solve the problems of the world, but I can help you regain your balance.

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