Flipping through the channels yesterday I happened upon the American Music Awards during Selena Gomez’s speech. She mentioned a very heart felt confession – how she felt broken and had to stop. Selena is well known for having Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that affects the entire body, causing fatigue, skin issues, and depression. Autoimmune disorders occur when the body recognizes itself as foreign and fights it self from the inside out, it breaks it self apart. Perhaps the onset of her disorder initiated from overworking her body and overstressing her mind. Here we see an example of the mind-body connection – we feel broken, we ignore the emotion and bend to society norms, and the body begins to break down in hopes that we finally listen to it and start to take care of ourselves (which thankfully Selena is finally starting to do).
“I was broken”. Such a strong, startling statement. This rings true for some many kids (myself included as a teenager, and I suffered the physical consequences late in life, which thankfully now I’m starting to reverse thanks to using Naturopathic Medicine). Kids are overstimulated, overstressed, overpressured, and their minds are underdeveloped and biochemically unable to make sense of their environment or employ critical thinking. After tutoring highschool math/science for the past 2 years, I’ve noticed that many of the kids coming in are frazzled and anxious, unable to concentrate or focus because they can’t distinguish the “noise” in their environment and are trying to process too much visual stimuli. Their brains have not been taught the ability to constructively select what is important to process and they end up overstimulated and excitable. Yes stress is important as it helps cells specialize (and also helps the individual grow mental-emotionally); however, when everything is viewed as stressful the mind goes on overload and shuts down as a survival mechanism (the “system breakdown” or mental breakdown many kids are experiencing, now at younger and younger ages). Hence mental health issues are on the rise in our kids and we need to pay attention, as they need help interpreting their environment and coping with stress.
From my experience, kids just need to be listened to, heard, acknowledged, and treated like an equal (don’t we all want to be heard, acknowledged, and treated with love and respect?). They don’t need to be coddled, they need to be heard. They also need to be taught the importance of self care. Usually we don’t implement self care until the body crashes and we are forced to in order to restore ourselves (the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset). Self care and restoration is critical for our health, especially at a young age. If lifestyle changes are not implemented at a young age, then physical repercussions are suffered later in life. Self care involves eating well, drinking water, breathing, moments of rest and reflection, all the fundamentals we tend to ignore in our fast paced accomplishment driven world. We don’t need to reach our breaking point in order to recognize we need help. Talk, share, listen. Breath, laugh, love. Your body, and mind, will thank you in years to come.
Note – If you are feeling broken, it’s okay to admit that you need help putting the pieces back together. Talk to those you love and look to others (professionals included) for support in order to feel whole again.