The physical side-effects of stress

Last month, I wrote about the fact that most of us are probably stressed even if we don’t think we are. I wanted to follow on from that this month with a perfect example of what can happen to you if you don’t address your underlying stress factors using myself as an example.

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As a child, I have suffered from excema and psoriasis and it’s something that I have to manage my entire life. However, approximately 2 months ago, I got a really bad case of psoriasis in and area that I never got it before – the back of my thighs and around my glutes. It was really bad to the point I found it so difficult to sit down because it would get inflamed, and I would spend the majority of my day in pain. I would try so many things to help it (changing my diet, using various creams, using essential oils, various alternative therapies) but nothing made it go away.

My understanding is that psoriasis and excema flares up when you are under a large amount of stress. So to me, my bad case of psoriasis was telling me to stop and take a look at what I was doing – it was waving a big big red flag! What was going on with me?

To be honest, there were a number of reasons causing me stress:

  • As a small business owner, I have to do a lot of things by myself, so the pressure of constantly “being on the go” and “being on top of things” couldn’t be maintained;
  • Lack of certainty – as a corporate lawyer, I was pretty sure that I would get a monthly paycheck, and I knew I’d have clients every day. In this job, it’s not that easy! So the fact that things were difficult to predict, which then impacts the financial side of life can easily raise a lot of stress;
  • My feeling that I was not supported enough; and
  • From all of the above, a fear from what was in store for me in the future.

To be fair, I didn’t actually think any of the above actually stressed me out until I had to step back and take stock of it. Then, when I went away to Perth for a Shamanic Retreat for 6 days, I had a number of healings, I spent the time going to the beach every morning (and at lunch times for a number of those days too) and I just enjoyed the company of my friends away from the stress of daily life. So guess what? My psoriasis, something that was the bane of my existence for the past 2 months, has now 98% gone!

So the moral of my story is this – it is imperative that you take the time out to look after yourself. Further, in previous articles, I mentioned the benefits of grounding and how it reduces inflammation from your body – I learnt this BIG time as the more I was able to just get my body into nature (whether it was walking barefoot in the park or on the sand or swimming in the ocean), the more my symptoms reduced. Next time your body flares up, do yourself a favour and take a stock take of what’s stressing you out and maybe just see how you feel after grounding yourself for 20 mins a day for a few days! Perhaps the upcoming break over Xmas will be a good chance for you to do this 😊

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