“Merging our bodies with our minds first starts with tuning into all the places and ways we experience anxiety and grief throughout our whole bodies.”
For years, I lived with an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. Oddly enough, it was feelings of physical distress in my body that caused me to seek help for the problem in my mind. In my latest column for Esperanza Magazine, I wrote about what it was like to discover at the age of 59 that my heart and body were in great shape, but my mental health was suffering…
For years, I experienced anxiety as physical symptoms in my body: stiff neck; pins and needles on my face; queasy stomach, nausea, and loss of appetite; twitching nerves and muscle spasms. There was also the vague and nameless feeling of dread that would settle in my body while enveloping my mind—that was the closest I would get to an integration of the two.
I knew I had to get help for my anxiety when I felt that I could no longer live with the beating of my heart. The pounding in my chest was so intense I feared that life-giving organ would burst.
In younger years, I faced my share of threatening situations, living through the political violence of Central America in the 1980s and other crises. But this was different, as the danger felt like it was in my body, not in my surroundings…
Read the rest of Jay’s article in Esperanza Magazine on how anxiety affects the whole person and why recovery begins with an integration of physical and mental health.
Photo credit: pixabay.com
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