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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