That pain in your jawbone. The ache in your back. Or is it a persistent twinge between your shoulders? Do you pay attention to what your body is telling you? Or do you turn a deaf ear?
“Our bodies often tell us about stress before we consciouslyperceive it,” notes Dr. Matthew McKay, who with Drs. Martha Davis and Elizabeth R. Eshelman co-authored The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook. “Without an awareness of how the body responds to external stimulation, we’re like ships without sonar. We’re trying to guide our lives without having half of the data necessary to make an informed decision.”
According to McKay, while everyone responds differently to adversity, there are certain generalities we can make when it comes to the body and stress. Anxiety, for example, is usually expressed in the shoulders and abdomen; anger, in the jaw, forehead and upper chest; sadness, as a…
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