How do you feel today? If the answer is “fine”, or your response lacks conviction, then there’s a good chance that you don’t really know.
In the Dalai Lama’s 2002 book “How to practice”, he explains the situation that is at the heart of so much of today’s stress epidemic:
“We are so accustomed to faulty states of mind that it is difficult to change with just a little practice.
Just a drop of something sweet cannot change a taste that is powerfully bitter.
We must persist in the face of failure.”
Under constant stress we become desensitised to how our bodies are dealing with it. This “faulty state of mind” becomes the norm.
Our internal sense of our wellness is called “interoception”, and in people suffering prolonged (or chronic) stress, or have experienced trauma, this sense gets weakened and we no longer have a real understanding of how we are doing, physically.
Because no matter where stress comes from – the environment, your food, not enough sleep, angry customers, emotional vampires or poor cultural fit, it all manifests in your body. Your organs, your nervous system, your muscles and joints.
Your body literally, well actually, keeps the score.
Then we think that “chilling out” is enough to recover at the weekend.
So we start Monday still stressed from the previous week.
The stress accumulates and we become less and less sensitive to (lack of) our wellbeing.
So go walk in nature, laugh with friends and family. Do some exercise, get some sunshine. Find some flow and give your self some proper recovery this coming weekend.
Because your body keeps the score. Always.
The following books provide a mind-blowing explanation of both interoception and how stress and trauma are at the heart of so much modern illness.