Guest superhero Angela Priven of diyhealthblog.com shares the importance of self-care and slowing down.
My life changed in many ways after I healed myself from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
I went from being a perfectionistic overachiever to someone who put her health first. Post recovery, I arranged my life to minimize stress and remained happy and healthy for the last 8 years.
Less than a year ago, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a digestive health coach. I went to health coaching school and launched my own website and business.
At first, I had an enormous burst of energy. There was much to do but I was tireless, excited and energized. Slowly that excitement turned into anxiety as the uncertainty and demands of running a successful business began to push me out of my comfort zone.
Anxiety has been a lifelong issue for me. It’s not the reason I got sick but it definitely made my symptoms worse. After healing my gut, I found ways to minimize my anxious tendencies with calming supplements like homeopathic Bach’s Rescue Remedy and magnesium citrate powder.
I’ve also been practicing the moving meditation of Qi Gong (very similar to Tai Chi) for the last 4 years and it has helped tremendously.
However, starting my business pushed my anxiety and stress levels to new heights and my regular maintenance routine was not enough to keep me balanced.
As I dove obsessively into the world of entrepreneurship, anxiety visited me there, asking teasingly “Are we there yet?”
My burning urge for my business to grow pushed me to work too hard and too fast. I often felt like I was in a race.
While I loved what I was doing, my behavior had consequences. My energy began flagging, my belly fat grew, and my mood deteriorated. As a professional healer I recognized that I was heading into the beginning stages of adrenal fatigue.
In digestive health there’s a phenomenon called “The Vicious Cycle”. When hard to digest foods are not properly broken down and absorbed they starts to rot in the intestinal tract and becomes food for pathogenic microbes.
These microbes feed, multiply and excrete toxins that injure the intestinal wall, which further decreases food digestion and absorption. As the viscous cycle continues full blown gut damage occurs, which can lead to autoimmune issues and other related health problems.
While my gut was still doing fine, I could see that a vicious cycle was occurring with my anxiety.
Because I was anxious about succeeding, I made myself work harder and harder. All that hard work made me feel more anxious about not seeing enough results and progress. To see more progress, I worked even harder. I even started feeling anxious about my anxiety.
Since I was fully committed to my business AND my health I knew that something had to give.
Just like I put my clients on gut-friendly diets, I needed to put myself on an anxiety reducing plan. That meant identifying and stopping the behaviors in my business that most fed my anxiety.
No doubt, it was my need for speed.
The faster I worked, the more I got done, the more anxious I felt. Speeding up my workday meant increasing my anxiety.
The solution was simply slowing way down.
Just like you can’t rush healing, you can’t rush success either. I decided to relax my expectations, practice gratitude and accept the pace of progress, whatever it was.
I notice in my clients sometimes, that the ones in the biggest rush to heal were the ones who healed most slowly. I learned about this concept in Qi Gong, but needed to experience it for myself to truly understand it.
I learned that running a business and healing the body have a lot in common. They both require patience, faith, persistence and acceptance.
These days, when the need for speed strikes I calm it by reflecting on all of my accomplishments. When I am able to stand back, take stock and celebrate, everything in my body calms down. I don’t need to get anywhere. I’m there already.
I remind myself that neither success nor healing has a final destination.
There is always more to heal and more success to achieve. They’re both never-ending wells.
So for myself, and clients, the pace of the journey is an important part. It’s a crucial lesson to learn.
And we can take all…the… time…. in…. the… world…. to learn it.
Angela Privin is recovering workaholic and passionate digestive health coach.
To learn more about how she healed her digestion, visit her at http://www.diyhealthblog.com
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