Understand Your Body Language

Body Language

Ignoring your body's language and the messages it sends can be devastating to your overall wellness. Over the past years of my life I have had my share of health problems, struggling to beat lupus, recuperating from a massive hemorrhagic stroke, and observing the hereditary diseases that affect my family, while making sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a preventative measure. As a result, I have learned how to stay in tune with my body and get clued in to all the messages it sends me both emotionally and physically. I want to share with you some of what I have learned in hopes that you too can begin to recognize and understand your body's language so that you can respond appropriately.

Most of us have experienced good health and know how it feels. When we feel well it means our body is functioning well. The good, energetic feelings we enjoy is body language that should be perceived as positive reinforcement of good health. When we sense something out of the ordinary, it is our body's way of communicating to us that something is wrong. It is our responsibility to recognize this, listen, and pay attention to what our bodies are communicating to us. Ignoring the signs can be disastrous.

Take a moment to look back over the last six months to some signals your body may have sent you:

  • Did you have a headache?
  • Did you have a sore throat?
  • Did you have digestive problems?
  • Did you have trouble falling asleep?
  • Did you have difficulties with eliminating your bowels?
  • Did you have back pain?
  • Did you extended periods of feeling down in the dumps and don't know why?

    Maybe you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms right now. Are you paying attention to your body language? Do you understand what it is trying to tell you? It may be your last call before something more serious develops. Paying attention and responding to your body's language can lead to improved health, which we all require in order to achieve our goals and dreams in life. We are all accustomed to having an occasional headache. A headache is a form of communication. There are various reasons why one has an occasional headache. Some causes of headaches can be due to:

  • Stress

  • Tension.

  • Allergies, sinus problems.

  • Illnesses such as a viral infection.

  • Skipping meals.

  • Dehydration.

  • Certain foods such as foods containing MSG, coffee or dairy products.

  • Lack of sleep.

  • Eye strain/needing glasses or a new prescription.

    Many of these occasional headaches can be treated with an over the counter (OTC) medication, avoidance of certain foods or a visit to the doctor. Get you know your body to identify what may be causing your headache. Take the necessary steps to prevent it.

    There are some headaches however, that are recurring and persistent. Theses kinds of headaches can disrupt your life. At age 30 I suddenly developed excruciating headaches. They were persistent and never really disappeared no matter how many prescription or OTC medications I ingested. The many doctors I visited all gave me a diagnoses of severe migraines. I lived with headaches for 7 years. Then suddenly at age 37, I suffered a brain hemorrhage that nearly ended my life. It turned out to be an AVM, Arteriovenous Malformation, a birth defect that was removed with brain surgery.

    I was fortunate but many people who suffer from an AVM do not survive when it ruptures. I share my story with you not to scare you but to make you aware that headaches should be taken seriously, especially recurring headaches. Check with your physician and be persistent for more testing if your headache is disrupting your life. We all experience stress - it's a natural part of daily living. The stress response is a normal bodily function but the problem arises when there is no reprieve/recovery from stress and the symptoms remain turned on. As long as the stressors remain, the body reacts by releasing stress hormones and this prolongs the symptoms you experience.

    The following is the bod'y language you must understand.

  • Sudden outbursts/short fuse
  • Intolerance of others
  • Impatience
  • Anger/irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed/tense/agitated
  • Digestive problems
  • Difficulty falling asleep or awaking and cannot fall back asleep/restlessness
  • Burning feeling in the shoulders
  • Forgetfulness

    Do a self-examination – does your body send you some of the signals mentioned above? If so, it's time to pay attention and find ways to reduce the stress in your life. Incorporating simple things to offset the stress can remove some of the symptoms above.

    Things such as such as:

  • Laughter
  • Getting together with friends or family for some fun
  • Exercise/sports
  • Dancing
  • Time at the beach/lake/mountains

    If the stress if not dealt with the body will continue to send you discomforting messages. The symptoms can worsen and other serious health issues can result. To read more about stress and how to cope, please click here. I'm sure you have you have received some of the following messages from your body:

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Difficulties breathing/congestion
  • Fever/chills
  • Dizziness or feelings of confusion
  • Abdominal pains
  • Pain or pressure over the eyes and forehead
  • Ear pain
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Vaginal itching
  • Painful intercourse

    All of the above symptoms are some of the body's language when communicating to you that something is wrong. In most cases the above messages can be a sign of a bacterial infection and may require antibiotics. Do not put off seeing your family doctor when you experience one or more of these symptoms.

    Infections can be caused by viruses or bacteria. Let us take a quick look at the difference.

    Bacteria: When harmful bacteria enter our bodies they produce toxins that can cause damage to the cells they attack. Depending on the type of bacteria and where it resides in the body, the symptoms and illness are different. A bacterial infection from any part of the body can enter the bloodstream and cause a condition known as sepsis, a life-threatening condition. Fortunately with the availability of antibiotics we are better prepared to fight bacterial infections. Recognizing and understanding your body's language and seeking the help you need to prevent bacterial infections can prevent serious complications.

    Viruses: Viruses are not living organisms therefore, they need a host such as you or I, plant or animals to reproduce. When a virus enters our body (eg. flu virus) it penetrates our cells hoping to use the cell's mechanism to reproduce in order to survive, thus killing the cell. The moment a virus penetrates the cell our body begins to communicate with us by the pain and discomfort we experience. Antibiotics are only used to treat a bacterial infection, not a viral infection. Treating a viral infection means treating the symptoms you experience. However, you must still consult with your doctor.

    By understanding your body language and responding appropriately you can save youself unnecessary discomfort or potentially life-threatening conditions. Do you receive messages from you body such as:

  • Moodiness?
  • Excessive guilt and shame?
  • Bitterness and anger?
  • Inferiority complex?
  • Paranoia/very suspicious?
  • Tired to the point of exhaustion both mentally and physically?
  • Lack of energy?
  • Anxiety/nervousness?
  • Lack of will power?
  • No desire for fun?
  • Depression/feeling sad and blue for a long time?
  • Absentmindedness?

    Each person handles their emotions differently depending on that individual's ability to process their feelings and experiences. Some people can experience certain things, deal with it, process the feeling, and find the strength to carry on with their lives. For others they need weeks, months, or even years before they are able to move past their experiences. These unresolved, unprocessed experiences produce sad feelings can cause one's behavior to change as they struggle to cope. These uncomfortable feelings are the emotional body language you cannot ignore.

    If you are receiving the above messages from your body, it may mean an emotional roadblock. You may not even understand why you behave the way you do and have been ignoring these messages. If you have been struggling for some time it may require the help of a professional to assist you with processing your feelings and moving past them. When you do this you can make more room in your life for the things that you want to accomplish. Understanding body language can save you years of anguish.

    Now that you know how your body speaks to you and the messages it sends, don't just ignore them. Take action! If you feel scared begin by contacting a life coach who can point you in the right direction. Quit ignoring your body language. Don't be one of those people who much rather stay in denial and just hope the problem would go away on its own. When the body speaks and the body language is ignored and your health suffers there's no one else to blame and you shouldn't complain.

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