Life gets tough sometimes. You start to feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster after a bit. But did you know that those emotions can cause a decline in your physical health? Dr. Susan Babel, a psychologist that specializes in trauma-induced depression, wrote in Psychology Today, “Studies have shown that chronic pain might not only be caused by physical injury but also by stress and emotional issues.”
“Many people are already familiar with the fact that emotional stress can lead to stomach-ache, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches, but might not know that it can also cause other physical complaints and even chronic pain. One logical reason for this: studies have found that the more anxious and stressed people are, the more tense and constricted their muscles are, over time causing the muscles to become fatigued and inefficient.”
More subtly, one might develop psychosomatic symptoms or stress-related symptoms because of unresolved emotional issues”
Often, physical pain functions to warn a person that there is still emotional work to be done, and it can also be a sign of unresolved trauma in the nervous system” she continued. So what could the various pains you experience mean? Let’s go through it.
1) Pain in your head
Pain in your head, like headaches and migraines, can be triggered by the stresses of day to day life. Be sure to take time out of every day to relax. Do something that eases the tension.
2) Pain in your neck
Feeling a pain in your neck? You must have kids! Just kidding. Pain in your neck is an indication that you may be having trouble with forgiveness of others, or even yourself. If you’re feeling neck pain, consider the things you love about yourself and others. Consciously work toward forgiveness.
3) Pain in your shoulders
Pain in your shoulders may indicate that you’re carrying a real emotional burden. That’s where the saying “shouldering a problem” comes from. Focus in on some proactive problem solving and distributing some of that burden to other people in your life.
4) Pain in your upper back
If you’re feeling pain in your upper back, you’re probably coping with a lack of emotional support. You might be feeling unloved or you could even be holding your love back. If you’re single, it might be time to go for a date.
5) Pain in your lower back
Lower back pain might mean you’re worrying too much about money or you’re lacking in emotional support. It may be a good time to ask for an overdue raise or consider a financial planner to help you utilize money a little bit better. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for support.
6) Pain in your elbows
Pain in your elbows has a lot to do with resisting changes in your life. If your arms are feeling stiff, it may mean that you’re too stiff in your life. It may be time to think about making compromises and shaking things up a little bit. At the very least, go with the flow.
7) Pain in your hands
With your hands, you reach out to others and connect. If you’re feeling hand pain, it may mean that you’re not reaching out enough. Try making new friends. Have lunch with an associate. Make a connection.
8) Pain in your hips
If you’ve been afraid of moving, that may manifest as a pain in the hips. Sore hips could be a sign that you’re too resistant to changes and moves. It may also show a caution toward making decisions. If you’re thinking on some big ideas, it’s time to make a decision.
9) Pain in the knees
Knee pain can be a lot of different things, but it can be a sign of a big ego. You might think that you’re a little bit too awesome. Humble yourself. Spend some time volunteering. Make sure you remember that you’re mortal. You’re just human.
10) Pain in your calves
Calf pain is likely triggered by emotional tension of some kind. Stress may also be the culprit. Jealousy may be causing your sore calves too. It might be time to let go of something big.
11) Pain in the ankles
Pain in your ankles may be a sign that you’re depriving yourself of pleasure. It may mean it’s time to indulge a little bit more. Spice up your romantic life a bit.
12) Pain in your feet
When you’re depressed, you might feel some foot pain. Too much negativity can manifest in your feet not feeling so good. Look for the little joys in life. Find a new pet or a new hobby. Look for joy.
As she concluded in the article, “Although one might not be aware of the lingering effect of the trauma, or believe that the traumatic event has been put behind them, the body could be clinging to unresolved issues.”
The next time you feel some physical pain, try looking inside yourself to see what you are thinking, what you are holding on to, and what emotions you are suppressing. Pain acts as a spiritual warning sign that there is some healing that needs to be done.