You know the feeling. That feeling when your adrenaline begins to climb. Your heart rate speeds up. Your breath becomes shallow. Your jaw begins to clench. You begin to sweat…but remain chilled to the touch.
This is our old pal anxiety and if you’re like the nearly 40 million people in the US suffering from chronic anxiety, you know what I’ve described all too well.
But did you know that chronic anxiety is often responsible for physical pain that usually lingers FOR YEARS?
Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Migraines, and Back Pain have all been connected to chronic anxiety and, after years of neglect, severing of the mind/body/spirit connection, and just ‘getting through it’, people are often left needing powerful pharmaceuticals, or worse, self-medication with alcohol just to simply exist.
My intention is not to scare you…it’s to put the connection between anxiety and physical pain in very blunt terms. There’s no way to get around it: your chronic anxiety is likely responsible for your physical aches and pains. And it’s hurting you on more than a physical level.
So, what to do?
Ayurveda classifies anxiety as a Vata imbalance, meaning there is too much air and space in the pranic body. My Ayurveda mentor, Dr. Vasant Lad, once said ‘Space is freedom’ and what he meant by that is…space is possibility but it is also ambiguity.
Ambiguity can be scary so we will fill that space with negative self-talk, mindless mental chatter, and what I would call ‘pacifiers’. Anything to save us from the discomfort of ambiguity and space. This leads to anxiety and physical pain because it is not a sustainable way to live. Your adrenals will become exhausted and your body will begin to believe that chronic adrenal spikes are normal.
Thankfully, there is much we can do to bring Vata back into balance and it starts with first loving on yourself and acknowledging where you are at this very moment. Release the ‘could have/should have’ guilt of past choices and simply see your body and mind where it is in this very moment.
Begin to notice the pain signals your body is trying to get you to pay attention to. Where is the pain in your body? Breathe into that.
Nourish your body with healthy food, give yourself a warm-oil massage, begin a meditation practice.
These are all natural pain relievers but will also begin to re-train your brain and adrenal system so that proper function may be restored.
Shocker: we are not meant to live in Fight/Flight our entire lives! 🙂
If you are someone with chronic anxiety and physical pain, I hear you. I acknowledge that your pain isn’t ‘all in your head’. Ayurveda does not subscribe to the idea of separation between body, mind, and spirit. All are one and intimately connected (and impacted) by one another.
If you would like to learn more about the connection between anxiety and physical pain (from an allopathic perspective), I encourage you to visit the Anxiety & Depression Association of America’s website.
And if you would like to explore how Ayurveda can help you reduce your anxiety and heal your chronic pain, I encourage you to reach out to me. You can book your FREE 60-Minute breakthrough session HERE.
Much Love & Namaste,