By: Yulin Liang
We live in a very busy world where everyone seems to be busy working towards achieving goals often from fear of other people’s judgement than from our own motivation or enjoyment. We are told that life is to challenge ourselves to be better. In this spirit of viewing ourselves as fighters, how many of us actually take care our own body with respect and treat our body with kindness? Do we have the time and acumen to feel what emotions are expressed by our body language, and how our behavior impacts our body?
When I was editor in chief, I often felt stressed before publication release dates and scared of any potential mistakes that could ruin my career. I remembered feeling my stomach ache, my hands slightly shaking, and my head spinning. In the beginning, I was wondering if the pain came from my imagination rather than from actual body aches. Many times, the feeling was real; it was myself, my own fear and stress triggering my body’s pain. I discovered that there seemed to be two systems in my body: one system managed my emotions and my willingness to meet social expectations, to become “successful.” If I felt scared or stressed, I needed to push myself to work harder and achieve higher standards. However, another system controlled my physical body, sending alerts to indicate that some parts of my body is in pain, indicating that the stress is hurting physical parts of my body.
After this discovery, I started to learn to treat my body and myself with mercy. I would massage my head and stomach to comfort my body, to calm myself, and to achieve inner peace. I realized many of us may have overlooked our body’s needs, either by focusing more on the outside world or treating it as a slave.
Sometimes when we feel stressed, we tend to gratify ourselves through unhealthy food, candy, ice cream, and junk food. Yet did we think about the ramifications of these actions at those moments? Does our body really need this short-lived satisfaction? How much more work does our body need to digest these substances and clean up our own body systems to keep ourselves functioning? Sometimes we are under pressure and work hard for long periods of time without taking breaks. Have we thought to see if our body can keep up with our ambitions? Have we thought to check if our body receives sufficient nutrition and substance to stay refreshed and nurtured?
Always remember to treat your body with respect. Our body is an amazing machine that we needs to take good care of to keep us alive and allow us to enjoy life.