We don’t talk anymore. Real face to face talking. Sharing our emotions with friends/family. With social media we have infinite vast ways of connecting cyberly, but we’ve evolved into a disconnected community.
It’s amazing to me, especially as a health care practitioner, how so many aspects of our health and happiness is taboo. We don’t talk about mood, our sleep, our bowel movements, or our menstrual cycles (which are all incredibly important to our health and well being). Because we don’t discuss these “taboo” subjects, we ignore the signs and symptoms our bodies give us because we don’t even recognize them as “abnormal”. Women will go around thinking that heavy periods and extreme menstrual cramps are normal (it’s not) or that a bowel movement once a day is normal (once again, not). But how would we know if we don’t communicate how we are feeling? For women, we usually don’t communicate to others because we don’t want to be perceived as “whinny” or “needy”, or we think we need to be superhero/supermom and sacrifice our needs and wants for the sake of everyone else. For men, it’s more a cultural norm for them to be viewed as “strong” and not to show emotion as it is perceived as being “weak”. When we cut off our own communication with our bodies, we halt the communication between brain cells and affect intercranial connections (which leads to further symptoms and imbalances). By ignoring or suppressing our feelings we further disconnect the communication between our minds and bodies, allowing our mind or bodies to become imbalanced (commonly when you see mood disorders, anxiety, sleep issues, chronic pain etc.).
Communication between our mind and body (ie thinking and feeling) is just as important as communicating with others. Community is an important factor in determining health. Those with a large-moderate social network, or those that feel they part of a community, have a greater probability of being happy and healthy. Perhaps this is because the more we communicate and share with others, they more neuronal connections we make and the better our bodies communicate with ourselves. Think about how nice it is when someone listens to you and truly hears you. You feel relieved. It’s the same when you listen to your body or mind. The body sends you a signal or thought wanting to be heard, taken care of, listened to, acknowledged. At the core, we all want to be acknowledged and listened to.
I know that it’s customary to give thanks this week and express gratitude for what you are thankful for. I would use this opportunity to listen to yourself and see what it is that your mind/body is telling you. Be gracious to yourself and those around you by listening, feeling, and expressing. Show yourself the same love and care you show others, and enjoy the present moment. Embrace communication.