Symptoms Are Signposts...Ignore Them At Your Own Peril

What do depression, excess weight, indigestion and heart palpitations all have in common?

They’re painful. They’re debilitating. They’re a nuisance.

All true.

But most of all, they’re symptoms.

And, as symptoms, they are also messages. Symptoms are your body’s communication medium, your body’s language, your body’s way of expressing itself. Symptoms are the body’s way of trying to get your attention.

It sounds a little woo-woo, I know. But, it’s true. Basically, all symptoms are moonlighting as messengers.

At some point, we started tuning out of our bodies. We started looking away and covering up what we felt. We stopped listening and we started numbing out. We muted our pain. We drowned it out.

A pill for every ill, right?

In this way, we gave our power away. We gave up the opportunity to tune in and figure out what’s really going on.

The question is: what were the symptoms trying to say in the first place?

It’s different for everyone and in every case. Sometimes, the symptoms are straightforward and physiologic. You’re having indigestion because your stomach acid is out of balance. You’re having heart palpitations because you have a blocked artery.

And sometimes, the symptoms suggest something deeper. Depression may signal stagnation in your career. Excess weight may be a sign that you don’t feel safe in your environment.

In either case, if you do not address the root cause of your symptoms, they will only get louder and more obtrusive. Deeper depression, more weight, ulcer, heart attack.

Just like road signs that alert you to a winding road or merging traffic, symptoms beg you to pay attention to your environment (both internal and external). They beg you to look around and assess the situation. They beg you to tune in. Ignore them at your own peril.

If you’d like to explore this topic further, When The Body Says No is a great resource.