Avoiding drama for your physical health

mental health stress fatigue naturopathic doctor

I’ll bet you have someone in your life that causes you stress.

A per­son who you feel takes too much from you.

Someone who you’re giv­ing and giv­ing and giv­ing, with no end in sight.

Your friend whom if you feel could just change *a little* things would all get better.

And finally, a soul who seems to always be in a crisis (this is dif­fer­ent than a per­son who has had a recent crisis, like a job loss, a death of a sig­ni­fic­ant per­son in their lives, has just become a par­ent), this is every-day-is-a-crisis.

Why is this important to our body?

If we are in an unhealthy rela­tion­ship pat­tern, then we have a tend­ency to:

  • Compromise when we should not
  • Get dragged into drama that is not ours
  • Forget our own needs and desires
  • Be shamed/​ignored/​belittled for their benefit

Why should we care about this?

Many people believe that the rela­tion­ships in their lives do not affect their phys­ic­al bod­ies but the phys­ic­al body must defend itself when it does not feel safe. Unhealthy rela­tion­ships put the body on edge, and will ini­ti­ate the same hor­mone sig­nals that are used to get us out of situ­ations like a burn­ing build­ing, a bear on your camp­site, a snake in your tent. We don’t want to keep activ­at­ing those hor­mones! Activated stress hor­mones like cortisol and adren­aline need to have rest­ing peri­ods or we get very tired, over­whelmed, and depressed.

What do unhealthy boundaries feel like?

Physically, unhealthy bound­ar­ies feel like:

  • Heart pal­pit­a­tions
  • Chest tight­ness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anger
  • Clenched fists
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Overwhelm
  • Dread
  • Abdominal cramp­ing

Emotionally, unhealthy bound­ar­ies feel like:

  • Hopelessness
  • Sadness
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Despair

What do healthy boundaries look and feel like?

Physically, healthy bound­ar­ies feel like:

  • Relaxed jaw or shoulders
  • Open body posture
  • Laughing and smiling
  • Openness and energy

Emotionally, healthy bound­ar­ies feel like:

  • You feel res­ted and happy around them
  • They make you laugh
  • You tell them some­thing about your­self, and you are heard and supported
  • If you have con­flict, you can talk through this con­flict and there are res­ol­u­tions that suit both of you.

Drama Support with others for your own BEST MENTAL HEALTH

  1. Notice the phys­ic­al signs. What’s your most com­mon phys­ic­al symp­tom when you are stressed? If you feel tight­ness in your chest, it’s your warn­ing sign. If you get head­aches, that’s your warn­ing sign. Running to the bath­room with diarrhea? That’s your warn­ing sign. Whatever they are, when they arrive, pay attention.
  2. Identify how you can change your beha­viour in the moment. If you’re stuck in a tough con­ver­sa­tion, can you end it earli­er? If you can­’t end it, can you take a break? Can you avoid pick­ing up the phone in future?
  3. Recover and destress after you are “safe”. Once away from this per­son or people, can you identi­fy what was hap­pen­ing, without judg­ment. What happened? What affected you? How can you think and sup­port your­self dif­fer­ently next time? Can you have some water or a snack?
  4. Do a body prac­tice to sup­port your heal­ing. Go for a walk, listen to music that makes you happy, go to the gym, hold hands with a part­ner or hug a pil­low, pet a dog. Get good con­nec­tion and nour­ish­ing love that helps you feel filled up.

Your mind and body will thank you for it!

Dr. Aoife

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