Why is it generally too late when we notice and act upon the symptoms of stress? I was recently walking on the streets of Porto when I stumbled upon this ad of a brand of coffee. It read in big, bold letters "Life needs me active". To begin with, who is life? Life needs you or you need Life (with capital L)?
Both men and women are bombarded with messages that relaxation is as bad as a sin. I would go as far as stating that this burden weighs more heavily on women. Producers of pads and tampons promote their products based on the premise that they will offer the freedom for women to continue to lead active lives. In many cultures, menstruation means time to regenerate and rest, however, in modern western culture, it is a nuisance that should not stop them. After all, working women need to prove that they can keep up!
With so many similar messages around, it is not surprising that resting is seen as an abnormal activity. There are only a handful of countries where women are legally protected to stay at home when they are on their periods. In order for this to become the norm, women (and men) need to start to heed the messages from their bodies. In 2017, actress Demi Moore lost a tooth due to stress. How could she have failed to realise she was suffering from stress? How could she have ignored the symptoms?
We have the tendency to listen to our minds because they are louder and brasher. Nonetheless, our bodies, which are more subtle, are hardly ever heeded. As we are so busy with "life", we tend to ignore the symptoms of stress. I myself did this when my hair became brittle and was falling out heavily. It took a diagnosis of an auto-immune disease in order for me to change my routine, diet, relationships and set of beliefs.
Now that I am more aware of the culture by which I was influenced, I am better able to question and make decisions that right for me based on the symptoms presented by my body and mind. How do you heed the messages from your body? Leave your comments below.
Eve specialises in Yoga and Relaxation for students and professionals who lead stressful lives or who are simply looking for a different perspective. She loves to write her thoughts in varied media and genres.