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Stress manifests in our bodies in different ways.  Anger and frustration tax our liver, fear taxes our kidneys, worry taxes our spleen and digestion system, sadness affects our lungs, and hate taxes our heart.  We can transform those negative emotions into useful ones that will help us move forward into this new era, whatever it might be.

Stress and Emotions:

Election season can be challenging, stirring up all sorts of emotions and fear of the future.  Emotions tax the body, and each emotion challenges different organs in the body.

Stress has a broad-reaching effect upon the body in many ways.  Each organ has its own role to play in the functioning of the body.  Stress is the “Alert Level”, and those levels range from “warm and cuddling” zero stress to “DEFCON 1” ultimate stress.  During those times of severe stress, we get a boost of adrenaline, and we can do whatever we’ve done before quickly, as if we’re running a race.  Our pupils dilate, our hearts beat faster – we’re ready to GO!  Temporarily, our nervous system is amped up.  This is GREAT for an emergency situation, but it really takes a toll on us over time.  Over time, our adrenals get tired of pumping out so much cortisol.  Our immune systems suffer, our digestive systems weaken, and eventually energy and blood flow is pulled from our other organs, too.

This stress can come from a variety of different sources: physical stress from working too hard, emotional stress, energetic stress (think of being around someone that “brings you down”), or spiritual stress.  In Oriental Medicine, we observe that each organ has a special relationship with each different emotion.  In Figure 1, observe how each of the organs not only perform a particular biolgical function, but also how they each correlate to a different set of emotions.

Our bodies communicate with us all of the time, letting us know what it needs.  We get thirsty, and we know we need water.  We get tired, we know we need sleep.  In the same sense, each organ system has its own way of sending us clues about what our body needs from us.  And in the same way that we learn the unspoken needs of a baby, we can learn the unspoken needs of our bodies, too.  Our body serves us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – it’s constantly present.  Our blood unceasingly takes out the cellular trash and brings nutrients to our cells.  Our heart never rests, sending blood to every square centimeter of our body.  Our gut is breaking food down into nutrients we need.   Our liver is producing our hormones.  And they may be doing this under great difficulty!  The liver may be valiantly carrying on to detoxify us, digest our fats, and regulate our hormones even though we’re making its job harder, maybe by drinking alcohol, or carrying extra weight – or simply going through a stressful time.  Our bodies are our friends, and like all friends, they respond to kind words and attentive listening.

By learning how to recognize the information it’s sending to us, we can respond with the guidance and nutrients our bodies need to continue to support us.   Our cells are constantly being recreated, and the healthier an environment you create for them, the healthier they’ll be!

Sometimes we need “Forklift” help – assistance with some heavy lifting.  Like, I need some help cleaning my garage, so I invited a strong friend to help me get rid of some things.  But a lot of the time, we just need to learn what to do.  LWC can help, wherever you are.  🙂