Manifestation of stress and me.

This week/weekend I learned the different ways my body stores stress and tension.

When I’m in a situation where I’ve been stressed due to outside situations and I feel powerless to change them, my body responds to that stress with gastric reflux. Dry heaves, every day, that disappear immediately when the stressful situation is resolved. Examples:

  • Abusive boss – dry heaves stopped the day she announced her resignation.
  • Dealing with mine and Dad’s and Mom’s emotions during the decline of Dad’s health – dry heaves stopped the day that Dad stopped all medications except for palliative care.

Apparently, in situations where I’m abusing myself by holding back what is likely a cathartic emotional response, my body responds to that stress with jaw pain (not referred pain – no sign of heart attack). I had it for a solid week, and actually needed ibuprofen and was considering seeing a doctor for the issue.

Then a friend of mine told me that sometimes her stress “collects” in her jaw, and asked if I’d been dealing with any stress lately…and I had. More than I expected, and the resulting examination of said stress led to a spate of tears and pillow hugging until I felt I’d purged the majority of it. Now my jaw pain is all but gone. A little stiffness in the morning, but gone within minutes.

Huh. Well, at least I know some of my warning signs? The jaw pain is new, but so is the idea that releasing those pent-up emotions will at least make me feel better, even if they don’t change anything.


One thought on “Manifestation of stress and me.

  1. Mm. Definite food for thought because of my recent jaw-clenching issues and resulting migraines. Going to see if I can’t get some of this stress to chill out…

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