What does it mean to be emotionally healthy?
When this question is asked, most people think they are being asked if they are happy. We live in a culture that is driven by highlights. With social media, everyone has a fairytale life. What people show is all the good parts, kind of like a movie trailer. In our perspective, everyone is happy but us. Have you looked on Instagram lately? Have you looked on Facebook lately? Have you looked on the TV lately? Everybody's happy. Everybody's having a great life. No one has mascne from the past couple of years. Everyone's hair is perfect. Everybody's good and happy.
How are we to keep up with trying to have #OurBestLifeEver when we can't keep up with everyone else's highlights, our culture has so kindly provided any sort of distraction to immediately take our focus off the pain. What are we taught about emotions? We aren't taught a lot.
I want to offer to you that we are NOT meant to be happy all the time. We get to experience all the emotions of what it is to be human. What if life feels good 50% of the time and 50% of the time it doesn't....AND THAT IS OK?! Think about it, our kids in school will feel anxious from tests, they will have to deal with other humans and their emotions, they will have to experience falling and then getting back up. Those emotions don't feel good but they're part of life. This is no different for us. We'll feel negative emotions. Most think that if they feel a negative emotion it means that something has gone wrong OR something is wrong with them.
We're like, oh my gosh, I feel anxious a lot of the time, I feel frustrated a lot of the time, I feel hate, I feel doubt, I feel scared. What is wrong with me? Everybody on Facebook is happy all the time. All these other people are causing me all this negative emotion. So you know what we try and do, we make an effort to be happy and positive all of the time. This is impossible and not realistic. When people die, we want to feel sad. When bad things happen to people we love, we want to feel anger. These feelings are all ok and within our control. They are triggered by thoughts that we are having about the circumstance.
So what do feelings that have to do with chiropractic care?
When you think a thought, it triggers a feeling and that feeling comes with a physiological response. Have you ever noticed when you're stressed out that you tend to clench your teeth or tighten your shoulders? If left unchecked, anxiety and tension can build up over time in the joints and muscles, which leads to pain. This pain makes it challenging to carry out day-to-day tasks, including walking. Chiropractors will help loosen and ease that tension and restore the body’s natural balance through chiropractic adjustments and treatments.
While chiropractic care is our number one, we also want to teach you to process these emotions for your own mental well-being. The first step is to become aware of these feelings. It's the negative ones that tend to create pain. So, when you start feeling in a way that makes you start a stress cycle (fight, flight, freeze, appease), you can interrupt it by becoming the watcher of your feelings.
2) Pay attention to where it is in your body (tight chest, shrugged shoulders...)
3) Process it. Breathe. Relax. Allow the emotions rather than trying to resist them. Resisting causes more tension.
Experiencing negative emotions was the deal we got when we were born into this world. It doesn't mean anything has gone wrong. It doesn't mean our life has gone wrong. It doesn't mean that there is something wrong with us. When we are ready to start feeling better, we can decide to change our feelings by deciding ahead of time to change our thoughts.