Especially at this time of year, we recall the slavery of our ancestors. They endured physical and mental hardship at the hand of Pharaoh. These days, many people are enslaved by mental or physical illness, abusive relationships or poor decisions that have been made by others on their behalf.
There are a number of people, however, who battle internal Pharaohs that are self-imposed. Stress, while not a person, is at the root of most major illnesses, and yet, it’s rarely seen as something that can be mitigated or controlled.
We enslave ourselves and create imbalance when we don’t make proper food choices, ensure that we get adequate sleep, use toxic chemicals in our cosmetics, cleaning products and materials in and around our homes. Unhealthy relationships tax the physical and mental systems, as do negative self-talk and comparisons to others.
What frees us is embracing our unique qualities as well as our quirks. If we honor the temple of our bodies, we don’t eat junk, limit our television viewing, shut down the computer, and keep electronics out of the bedroom. We monitor our bombardment of electromagnetic frequencies and set alarm clocks that urge us to stop and wind down in order to go to sleep at night, just as we do when it’s time to wake up in the morning.
Taking a look at the sources of stress that exist in our bodies, minds, spirits and emotions, and working toward managing or eliminating them, can set us free.
Terry Segal is a licenced marriage and family therapist who writes a regular column for the AJT.