Years ago I took a class at BYU called Psychoneuroimmunology and it fascinated me how linked our moods and psychological state are with the physical activity of our body. That was soon after my body showed me first hand how linked they are.
(Yes, those are my big 3 pound weights I use.)
I woke up one morning unable to move one side of my face. I figured it was Bell's Palsy and the doctor said it was and sent me to a physical therapist, who ended up kinda being my psychological therapist. He would ask me about my activity, what happened (falls, injuries...) before the palsy, stress in my life, etc. He concluded that, although "they" aren't sure what exactly causes Bell's Palsy, that in my case, it was my body's response to some big stresses in my life. At that point in my life I hadn't been exercising. Like at all, other than short walks with my two little children at the time.
The physical therapist helped me to spot some warning signs my body was giving me that I was too stressed and needed to release some of it by mental de-stressing, but also by the big ugly word----exercise. I would get migraines very often (several times a week) and a very tight neck. Those were the two big signals that I needed to pay more attention to releasing those stress hormones by exercise. And I just gotta add that eating well is a huge part too.
I was very glad when my face got better several weeks later and have been happy that I haven't had it again. Not a pretty look for me, not to mention, it is very hard to drink when you can't close half of your mouth all the way. Sorry no photos.
Since that time, I have found another signal my body gives me that I am headed for trouble. I think it is a bit unique and kinda seems strange, but I have noticed it again and again so I know it is a signal. If I am stressed (well, who isn't these days, but even more than usual) and not exercising regularly or intensely enough and eating too much sugar and fat, I tend to have bad dreams---ugly, vivid, bad dreams.
The last few weeks of summer our schedule was a little different and I wasn't doing my usual exercise routine every morning and then Elisa and I weren't running much at night like we had been. I was getting more anxious for the semester to start, along with other stresses in my life. I had a horrible, scary dream where I saw Sabrina, my 9-year old fall down a cliff, bounce at the bottom, and die.(Strangely, it was a couple of days before someone died from a fall off a cliff in Provo.) I knew as soon as I woke up that it was my body telling me to get back to work.
So, I'm back to my routine and hopefully it'll keep those awful dreams away. How does your body talk to you? Do you get headaches? Feel blue? Do you have something freaky weird like my dreams???