When I was in the worst shape of my life I was carrying around a lot of weight. Some of it was physical. A few extra pounds of fat. And I hated it. But I was also carrying something else:
Emotional weight. Daily stress. Life felt heavy. What a horrible feeling. It made me want to lie down and take a nap.
That's the sort of weight I'm talking about.
We're afraid to pack on the weight and yet so many of us are unaware of all the heavy things we're carrying.
We carry a lot of crap--relationships that didn't work, childhood hurts, worry for our kids. And that's just the big stuff. We also carry bills that need to be paid, choices of what to make for dinner tonight, and an endless to-do list.
Our bodies take on this emotion. Once I went to the doctor because I was feeling sick all the time--I had a stomachaches and headaches that wouldn't go away.
I told her. "I think something is wrong with me."
After 2 visits she told me everything was fine. "You seem really stressed though,"
she said. I'd just had a big move to a new city plus difficulty finding a job. "Your body carries those things, you know
I'd never thought of it that way but of course it was true. Our bodies carry our sadness and stress. I decided I wanted to be kinder to myself.
What can we do when we feel this way? How can we be kinder to our bodies and ourselves?
I know of at least 2 steps to feeling lighter:
Letting Go of the Weight
We think if we let go of our emotional weight it's going to come down and crush us. But it won't. We're stronger than that. When we let go of this weight we feel lighter and stronger. How can we be both at once? I don't know, but we are that exactly. Light and strong. It's pretty amazing.
Try this. Try breathing in and out. With every breath out let go of your worries a little more. This isn't always easy, but it works in time. Here are some things that have helped me: Yoga. Meditation. Writing my worries down. Talking with a friend. Maybe none of these work for you. Find what works for you and do it.
Picking Up Some Actual Weight
The next time you feel yourself carrying emotional weight, try this. Pick up some hand weights. I'm serious, guys! Work out so hard your mind can no longer hold tight to those anxious thoughts. Trust me, this works. You'll feel stronger and more at peace.
It's not always the instinct. When we feel overwhelmed by life, we want to curl up and hide. But taking action is what works.
And, seriously, do a Daily Hiit workout! I did this when I was feeling anxious the other day and Lisa knocked the anxiety right out of me! Thanks, Lisa!
So stop carrying around emotional weight. Your body deserves better. You deserve better. You're tough. You're a fighter. So drop the weight and do some reps.