Thinking back to Fall 2014, I thought I was doing everything right in terms of good health. I was exercising daily, eating whole foods and getting enough water and sleep. I had been working in a corporate environment for almost a year at that point and had finally gotten into the swing of things. Being on a computer and sitting all day didn’t help my existing anxiety. I thought the way I was feeling was “normal” and it all came with the territory of finally being in the real world, so I shrugged it off.
Over the next few months I started to have severe inflammatory symptoms including shortness of breath, tightness in my chest and swelling in my feet and ankles to the point where it was hard to walk. My anxiety kept increasing and with it came anxiety attacks and insomnia. My body was telling me that something was not right. I had extensive testing through Spring 2015 while being on steroids for 6 months to get the inflammation down. I felt awful and all the testing I had didn’t point to a definitive answer.
At that point I was frustrated with all of the inconclusive tests and being on medications so I did some research on relaxation practices that I could incorporate into my daily routine that could hopefully help reduce my stress. I was already working out consistently at that point so my sister introduced me to yoga and meditation. I was hesitant at first but was desperate to find something that would help. I started to include 10 minutes of both yoga and meditation into my day. Shortly after starting these practices, I saw huge improvements in my stress levels and anxiety. I found it easier to cope with the stress of my job and was able to sleep better at night.
During this time, I started to find clarity and figure out what I wanted my life to look like. I came to realize that I wanted something completely different than what my current situation was. I craved a life that was out of the box, not the norm – I just didn’t know how to get there. It was then that I knew my body was trying to tell me something; I was meant to do something different with my life.
Since then I’ve taken time to really dig deep and figure out who I am and what I really want out of my career, relationships and life in general. I’ve tried new things and gotten out of my comfort zone over the last four months, something that I had a hard time doing while in such a stressed state, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the new opportunities in my life.
Moral of the story? Our bodies are such blessings. When something doesn’t feel right – you’re in a job you hate, a toxic relationship, or are not being true to yourself – your body knows and that little voice in your head will start to whisper. If you don’t listen (like I didn’t at first) the whisper becomes louder and can even result in physical symptoms. Eventually, I listened to what my body was telling me and all of my symptoms have since resolved. Funny how a little stress management and truly digging deep to find what fuels you can do so much for your happiness, health and overall well-being.