Most of us are familiar with the idea that stress can cause headaches. What some may find surprising is that there are other muscles that can respond in similar ways due to stress-related symptoms resulting from unresolved emotional problems; tension and constriction arising from different stresses can cause fatigue and cramps in different muscle groups over time.
According to Dr. Susanne Babbel “Studies have shown that chronic pain might not only be caused by physical injury but also by stress and emotional issues,” “Often, physical pain functions to warn a person that there is still emotional work to be done.”
This is not to say that any pain in these areas should be ignored or brushed off as ‘just emotional’, you should always investigate ongoing pain. However practicing emotional self-care is never going to be harmful, so why not try paying attention to the areas relating to your pain? Here is what your body is telling you according to Dr. Babbel’s theory:
Worrying and battling obstacles can result in headaches. So find a way to relax, without feeling guilty about it or letting your mind wander to your troubles. Not only do you deserve some peace and quiet, but it will make you more productive in the long run.
Resentment can be a pain in the neck, literally. Whether it’s a grudge against others or yourself, it can be hard to let go and forgive; but redirecting your attention can make a lot of difference. Neither yourself or others will always meet your high expectations, and that’s okay. Try to think about things that you love, your (or their) unique abilities, and past achievements.
Tough decisions can feel like a weight on your shoulders. Whether the pressure is coming from someone else or your own natural indecisiveness, lighten the load by sharing it with someone close to you. Talking about your concerns aloud can alleviate them and help you find a solution, even if no advice is given.
Pain in the upper back can result from feeling unappreciated or fearing love. It’s painful to experience a lack of support, but try to ease that pain with reconnection. Communicate with those who you love and go out to meet new people. Be friendly and don’t hold back words of affection.
Fear of loss and/or obsession with money can cause lower back pain. Financial worries can damage many aspects of your life, but try to remember that money does not buy happiness. Do what you love so that you will have the joy, and profit will follow.
Fear of change is often met with illogical stubbornness, but trying to hold on to and control things can cause joint pain. Try to remember that life is not always as complicated as we make it seem. Don’t waste energy fighting things you cannot affect. Let life carry you in it’s flow and try to enjoy the ride.
Lack of companionship can cause introvertedly-inclined people to feel pain in their hands. If you experience this sort of discomfort, it’s time to let your metaphorical hands be held. Do something with people; even strangers can provide company, and friends can be made in the most unexpected moments. Go to an event that interests you, and just allow yourself to feel part of the crowd.
As explained about elbows, joint pain relates to fear of change. If you’ve become accustomed to a routine or too comfortable in a predictable lifestyle, the arrival of a new situation may cause pain in the hips, signifying our fear of change. Remember that change is what keeps life interesting. Think of it as an adventure and don’t procrastinate big decisions.
No one likes to think of themselves as conceited, but knee pain can be a signal for an inflated ego. Look around; there’s so much going on that doesn’t revolve around you. Pay attention to the struggles of your friends, parents, or coworkers. You may find more fulfillment in giving to others.
Jealousy and possessiveness can make relationships (and calves) tense. Relax and learn how to trust those close to you. Don’t try to control or change them, instead, think of the reason you became close with them in the first place. If you discover you no longer connect with those things, or the other person is driving you to lose touch with yourself, it may be time to move on.
Life has a way of making us so busy that we forget to take the weight off ourselves (and our ankles) sometimes. If all your focus is on your responsibilities and you’re neglecting your needs, or holding off on fulfilling our dreams, it’s time to break free. Take some time to yourself, and open yourself up to new possibilities. Only you can make your dreams a reality.
Apathy can stop us from moving forward. Feeling like a failure, or that everything is going wrong, can make feet begin to hurt. Start paying attention to the little things in life, the details and the beauty in the world. Use all of the five senses to optimize your experiences. Try new things that interest you. Make a point of smiling more.
As mentioned earlier these suggestions are not meant to replace medical investigation. However, paying attention to the source of pain by reducing anxiety and stress is both useful and can provide relief not just for your pain but for the stresses in your life. When the physical is giving you a message from your emotions, don’t instantly silence the messenger with a pill, listen to your body because it wants you the best for you.