My stomach gurgled after dinner.

I felt a bit queasy, but I didn’t feel like throwing up.

I wasn’t sure what to do.

I felt like I needed a quick fix.

I didn’t feel like eating, lying down, or doing something active.

I’ve dealt with stomach issues all my life. A few years ago, I gave up ice cream, followed by all dairy foods. Next was red meat, then some grains, and finally foods with a high concentration of sugar. I’ve tried eliminating all kinds of foods, and there have always still been stomach issues for me to deal with.

That evening, I felt like I was playing the waiting game. Waiting for my stomach to feel better, so I could enjoy life again.

Then I had a thought. What would happen if I leaned into these feelings instead of just wishing they would go away?

I sat down on the floor and relaxed as I scanned my body from my feet all the way up to my head.

It’s interesting how sometimes a similar lesson presents itself to me time and time again, but I can’t seem to learn it. I knew I was a bit thickheaded, but this needed to sink in sooner rather than later. I shouldn’t be afraid of my upset stomach. I needed to do a better job of watching and learning from my body.

I also knew I shouldn’t beat myself up too much about this issue. It’s a common struggle, one many of us share.

Donuts and beer are good examples. These are not healthy options. But that doesn’t mean we never choose them.

I knew that my stomach problems usually happened when I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed. They’d start out subtle and get more and more intense the more I ignored them. I kept trying to power through.

I needed to be more aware of how I handled situations at work, so I could be more relaxed and able to function well. During the last project I was working on, I didn’t ask for help when I needed it, and I let my tension build. Fatigue took over, and I ended up getting sick and having to call out of work for a day to recover.

The more we appreciate and watch how our feelings affect our health, the more often we can recognize when we need to take time to relax before we become overwhelmed.