Life is about balance and our bodies are very good at informing us when we are out of balance, be it with the odd back twinge or sleepless night. A good case in question happened to me yesterday evening.
I have about 8 tradesmen coming and going this week doing various jobs in 4 different rooms in the house, which has been quite hectic and come 5pm yesterday I was busy trying to logon to a Skype meeting, whilst cooking tea for the kids, to be ready to run my daughter to Brownies as soon as the meeting finished, whilst circumnavigating around the huge plasterboards in my kitchen. The end result? A pan of freshly boiled water tipped down my leg instead of the sink. Luckily my jeans protected my leg but alas the gap between my slipper and my jeans, you know, that lovely bit of thin, delicate skin on the anklebone got the worst of it. It hurt. A lot. A quick few minutes under the cold tap and a drop of lavender oil wasn’t going to remedy this burn quickly.
After the drop off at Brownies, in flip flops (as shoes or boots were out of the question with the burn), the pain was bringing tears to my eyes. I’d already missed my meeting, I knew the kitchen floor still had a big puddle of water on it and the dishes were piled up in the sink, but I took a detour home to my very dear friend, who took me in, gave me a huge hug then plonked me down, ran a basin of cold water, looked up the right homeopathic remedies and just made me sit and chat for an hour whilst dosing me with timed remedies. Within the hour I had gone from excruciating, eye watering pain to no pain what so ever and even a smile on my face.
Mums are used to battling on come what may. This is not necessarily a great skill and certainly not one I wish to pass on to my daughter. My burning episode reminded me I am not a robot and nor is it healthy to behave like one. I had ignored the fact that I was trying to do too much and so the turn of events made me stop and slow down. What I really needed on that day, after many busy days of juggling work and home life, was what I ended up with, an hour with a very dear friend, and to sit and connect.
Never underestimate the need to connect. You could have the best diet in the world and exercise everyday and yet there is still one vital thing that if missing from your life will dramatically affect your health and that is a feeling of connection. Those that enter old age in great health tend to have a healthy social life and a good network of friends and/or family.
David Hamilton, once a researcher for the pharmaceutical industry developing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer and now a best selling author of 7 books on the connections between science, the mind and spiritual wisdom, explains that the hormone that we release when we show compassion and kindness, oxytocin, is great at dealing with those ageing inflammatory free radicals. One of this amazing hormone’s actions is to widen the arteries naturally and so keeps our heart healthy.
Whilst working in drug development David was exposed to the placebo effect and so began to study mind-body interactions. Of 150 couples researched, those that were more compassionate, tactile and supportive had almost no incidence of heart disease compared to those that showed no physical love in their relationship and were critical or hostile had very high levels of heart disease. David’s research certainly reminded me to share my hugs freely.
I am sure that the time spent connecting with one of my dearest friends helped relieve the pain from the burn as much as the tablets and the cold water. Take time to really connect with your friends and family. Just thinking about them fondly now will release heart healthy oxytocin!
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