Keeping Score

Aug 21, 2023 | Uncategorized

Is your body keeping score? According to best selling author and psychologist, Bessel van der Kolk, our body is keeping score. There are strong connections between the body, the brain and our mind. The things we think and feel will eventually show up in our body as dis-ease.

So many of us deal with anxiety and depression. If you are tuned in to social media platforms, news in all its varieties, that amount of anxiety and depression can be even more significant. We are fed a daily diet of fear and what ifs. Most of the time, it’s not even news, just hypotheticals which rev up our nervous systems to anxious levels we scarcely even recognize anymore.

How can we keep our body from keeping us in a losing game and making us sick? The answers may not be all that surprising.

Eliminate social media and most internet outlets from your life. If that feels impossible, start with small daily doses of elimination. As you try this, pay attention to how little you actually missed. The internet has become a place of perfection that fuels our insecurities. People post their perfect parts. The parts of their life that shine in ideal moments. You, stuck at home, jam smeared in your hair and Cheerios stuck to your feet with dirty diapers piling up in the bin, begin to spiral into their world, sizing yourself up as a failure. That anxious thought of never being enough, having enough, doing enough, builds to a fever pitch and literally becomes stored in our body and reveals itself at inopportune times as high blood pressure, depression, diabetes.

Another way to stay mentally and physically fit is to get back to good old fashioned connection. One thing we learned in the pandemic is to isolate. At first it was hard, but then we learned to get along, alone. Healthy or not, that is what we were forced to do. Now, for many, it’s become a habit and it is a habit that is killing us. Loneliness is deadly. We have to find ways to connect physically and meaningfully. We are not meant to be alone. Start to say hi, when out and about. Make eye contact. Visit your neighbor and become reacquainted. If you don’t have meaningful connections in your life, find ways to be with other people. Perhaps a volunteer position is a good place to start. Game night with old friends.

Finally, don’t suffer in silence. It’s hard to ask for help. It’s even harder to be surrounded by loved ones and no one recognizes your pain. As much as we wish people could see what we think is obvious, not everyone can. Don’t be afraid to let those around you know you need help. Even if you don’t know what kind of help you need, just verbalizing the fact that you are struggling, is a good start to releasing the built up stress that settles in our body.

At Madison Women’s Clinic, we have so many resources we can offer to help you deal with the daily stressors of life and even the bigger traumas you may be facing. Let us know how we can help.

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