Symptoms are Messengers

How Your Body Talks to You

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Symptoms are more than annoyances that need to be fixed, symptoms are messengers telling you what’s happening in your body. That’s right, symptoms are how your body talks to you.

Every symptom you have is trying to share what you need to get back to being balanced and healthy. 

But why is it even when the body’s check engine light has been on for an inordinate amount of time, we usually wait until things start to break down before we pay attention?

Myth: Symptoms are Annoying and Need to be Masked

In our fast-paced world, it can be easy to miss, and dismiss, the signals that our bodies send us. In fact, we’ve been trained to bulldoze over them; Dull and numb them with avoidance, work, pill, potions, lotions, food, alcohol, sex, scrolling and more.

We’ve learned as a society to squash any symptom our body encounters and cover them up because they’re pesky and annoying. Entire industries have been built around hiding and masking symptoms so we can keep going in our day-to-day without the worry of slowing down.

(We’re purposefully not saying “get rid of” because, while that’s the marketing message, getting rid of a symptom is not root-cause healing.)

By learning to decipher the messages your body is sending through symptoms, you can give your body what it specifically needs. And, once you recognize the emotional component of your symptoms, and address the root causes, you can take a true holistic approach to your health. 

In this post, we’ll explore symptoms, how your body talks to you, and how you can empower yourself to listen and respond accordingly.

The Role of the Nervous System and Symptoms

Our nervous system is a complex network of signals and regulators, constantly working to keep our bodies in balance and harmony. Symptoms like pain, fatigue, and mood changes are signals from our nervous system, telling us that something is out of balance. 

By understanding how our nervous system works, we can learn to decode these messages and respond in a way that supports our overall well-being.

Fight or Flight: the Parasympathetic Nervous System

One key aspect of our nervous system is the sympathetic and parasympathetic response. The sympathetic response is our “fight or flight” mode, activated during times of stress and danger.

Rest and Digest: the Sympathetic Nervous System

The parasympathetic response is our “rest and digest” mode, activated when we feel safe and relaxed. When we experience physical and emotional symptoms, it can be helpful to tune into our nervous system and see which response is dominant. If we’re in sympathetic mode, for example, our body may be telling us to slow down and prioritize rest and relaxation.

Emotional Causes

Another way to understand the power of symptoms is to recognize that they often have an emotional component. Symptoms like anxiety, depression, and mood swings may be a sign that we’re not addressing our emotional needs. 

When we experience an overwhelming amount of uncomfortableness in the form of emotions and bodily sensations, if we don’t have the right coping tools, or haven’t been trained to work through our stressors, the mind often doesn’t know what to do with all the information and learns to “turn off and tune out” the sensations. We become cut off at the neck.

After years of the body trying to talk to us, but our brain not taking the call, the body cranks up the volume to get the attention it needs. You could also have been living in the Resistance Phase for so long that your body is running low on resources and it’s no longer able to compensate the way it has in the past. You’ll see this in a sudden onslaught of symptoms all at once—the body is exhausted and hits burnout.

By tuning into these sensations and acknowledging them, then allowing them to move through us, we can take steps to support our emotional well-being.

In the Your Daily programs, this can be a self-led exploration with guidance, as well as practicing somatic tools, mindfulness, or pursuing hobbies, activities and new communities that bring us joy.

Working with a professional coach or therapist can also be hugely powerful to show you blind spots and give you tools to work through them.

Physical Causes

It’s also important to recognize that symptoms can have physical causes, such as hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and chronic inflammation. All of these can cause mental distress and make a person anxious or depressed because the mind and body are one and work together.

This involves making lifestyle changes including diet, sleep, habits, and addressing outside stressors.

There’s no such thing as “I was born this way.” We can all change and evolve with small daily habits.

Ultimately, the power of symptoms lies in their ability to guide us towards greater health and well-being. Rather than ignoring or suppressing our symptoms, we can learn to listen to our bodies and respond in a way that supports our overall health. 

Your body is always working for you, not against you, even if it feels like it is.

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