I can't stress enough how important it is to take care of your... stress. And I don't mean just work stress or your day to day "Omg I feel so stressed" kind of stress. I mean all kinds of emotional stress, like baggage from past experiences and traumas, family dynamics, friendship issues, politics at work, personal emotional issues like anxiety, depression, Low self-esteem and Low self-worth etc.
When I look back at my own TSW/RSS journey, I realised that my main trigger was emotional stress, and while I knew it, I didn't know how to control it, and I flared again after recovering multiple times. I flared when my first relationship turned abusive, then recovered when I left it. I flared again when I was vain and had self-image issues. I recovered while overseas, then it slowly crept back again in Singapore and when I started work. I work as a social worker and absorbed negative energy
without knowing it. And I didn't feel like I was stressed, but I was.
In a culture like Singapore where the usual coping methods are to "suppress the emotions", "stay strong", "save face", I have suppressed a lot of emotions over time, and it accumulated. And it is just difficult to master the art of emotional healing and getting to a state of peace. I believe it is a universal struggle to find this peace and happiness and be free of any emotional baggage.
I am currently learning to become more aware of the emotions I am holding. Throughout the past 8 years I have learnt that I hold a lot of tension in my body, and it affects my health. I often tense my stomach unknowingly for no reason, and I realise this most often when I am on public transport. I consciously make an effort to relax my tummy. When I had really bad constipation, I practiced relaxing my tummy and my bowels and sometimes it helped me shit.
If it didn't work, I had to resort to drinking something hot/warm to relax my stomach and intestinal muscles just to go to the toilet. And that is just one example of how not being relaxed can affect our physical health. As they say, as within, so with out. Whatever that's happening on the inside will be reflected on the outside.
Going through TSW/RSS is an incredible journey, for it forces us to be introspective. When you are bed bound and in tremendous pain, all you can do is look inwards to find the answers. Why am I facing this? What patterns am I repeating that make me go through this again and again?
To tide through tough times, you learn gratitude. I count my blessings that my parents are able bodied and still working, and I am not required to be the main person bringing the bacon home. I'm thankful that I have a partner that stuck with me even though I looked and smelt so bad. I'm thankful for friends who are supportive and understanding. I can't do many things and have lost many things but the things I gain are intangible.
I am no longer attached to many worldly possessions and am more at peace with myself. I learnt what loving myself means, and I learnt how to live more presently instead of ruminating over the past or worrying about the future.
It is a good time to purge old habits and introduce new ones. Just like a physical detox we do with juices, and supplementation with quality food, an emotional detox and "soul food" is necessary. Take time to mend those emotional wounds and your physical wounds will heal too.
Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019
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