When pushing through keeps you stuck and sick…


We’ve all heard it before, and we’ve all offered ourselves a version of the following …

“Just suck it up and get it done… toughen up…. sort your sh*t out and get it done…”

or a favourite… “people tell me to take a break because I’m stressed and exhausted, but I just have so much to do I CAN’T take a break”

I’m wondering what’s your version of the above – “push through and get it done” mantra?

I am not a fan of sticking only with the “suck it up and get on with it” philosophy for a happy and healthy life.

And here’s why…

For your body and mind to be in a healthy state, balance is required. And balance is actually not a static state – balance is more like moment by moment adjustments, corrections, shifts within the organism. Think about balancing on a narrow beam, your body is constantly adjusting itself to maintain balance on the beam.

To maintain your balance the mind-body system is designed to have active phases and rest phases, stress phases (not all stress is bad, some stress helps us to grow and develop) and letting go, relaxation phases.

  • If your body is generally well, after a good nights sleep how do you feel? Ready for action? Ready to jump into the day?
  • After intense exercise, what happens in your body? Does your body feel tired, restful, softer?

The same goes for our relationship to life…

We can’t always be pushing through, sucking it up and toughing it out… your system wasn’t designed to work that way.

Your body-mind system requires rest and relaxation phases to counter-balance the stress or active phases.

Deep relaxation at a physiological level is among the best preventative medicines you can give yourself.

And you can take this wonderful medicine in whatever form suits you… meditation, restorative yoga, a nap, lying down and quietening the mind for 10 minutes, deep breathing or even generating a different perspective on your to-do list all open the doorway for your system to let go, unwind tension and restore itself.

Proper deep relaxation positively changes oxygen intake, digestion, blood flow, hormonal balance, muscle tension – in short – it heals. And when done frequently, helps your body maintain balance and vitality.

So if I were to write myself a prescription for vibrant wellbeing I would include one part “pushing through, getting it done” (activity) and one part “relaxing and letting go” (rest)

… along with goals that stir my soul, fun physical movement, fulfilling relationships and intimacy and of course food that nourishes my body’s needs…

So check in with yourself just now:

Are you “sucking it up and toughing it out”, without including the medicine of “totally letting go and unwinding”?

If your answer is yes, what is the cost here?

And for bonus points! – What “medicine” would you offer yourself in this moment?

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