Today I came home to a carpenter ripping up my hardwood floor right outside my apartment door. He was using a pry bar, sawing, nailing, and removing the rotted board to glue down sheets of plywood. I knew I had to get out of there, fast. The noise, the toxic chemicals, and the fact that I couldn’t control my life because I do not own the building.
One of the most important things that I have learned as a survivor of a brain injury is to get away from stress. Our body is our first line of defense. When I am under stress, I can’t think clearly. I can feel stress in my body. I can feel it in my rhomboid muscle and I can definitely feel it in my neck.
Stress gives our bodies so many messages. It is vitally important to listen. Our bodies can be our best friends. Letting us know that we need to relax or to simply step away. Sometimes we ignore our own body’s wisdom. Our beautiful bodies can be our protector. Our body needs us because when we are not relaxed it is so hard to listen to the many messages our body is trying to give us.
If we feel under stress, it is important that we take a break, by stepping away in any way that we can. Like stepping into another room and listening to music. Like going for a walk. Like breathing deeply and inhaling fresh air. Like going out into the natural world and breathing in the smell of pine trees, the smell of the earth, and the aroma of things growing in the garden.
All of these things are so restorative to our bodies, our mind, and our souls. They make us feel grounded again. The sooner we do it, the more we relaxed we feel. Relaxation is the opposite of stress. The more relaxed we feel the more clearly we think. We become powerful in our lives once again. We make good decisions to honor ourselves, our bodies, and our lives.