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by Sue Ingebretson A while ago, I was giving a client I’ll call Sara, a private cooking class in my kitchen. We were chatting about how easy it is to chop veggies in advance so they’re in the fridge and ready to use. Suddenly, mid-chop, she blurted out … “I think my husband is having an affair.” That type of conversation doesn’t happen in the kitchen every day. Well, maybe not in yours, but it does in mine. In fact, it’s pretty common. You see, we all have the day-to-day stuff that keeps us busy – meal planning, shopping, working, cleaning, etc. But that’s just our physical existence. While we’re doing all of those things, our minds are busy, too. We’re consumed by worry, fears, and anxieties. And, for many of us, that mental busyness is keeping us sick. Sara worked with me for several months before that cooking class. I tailor-made a healing program for her based on her desires for nutrition instruction, fitness motivation, and supportive accountability. Her progress was rocky. She’d find success and then sabotage her efforts. Sound familiar? That’s a common thread for many of us. Because I’ve seen this behavior before, when she blurted out her worries, I knew we were getting somewhere. We were on the brink of making great healing discoveries. Sometimes, we just need a bit of support to address what’s going on in our inner head space. What kind of inner chatter fills your head space? Are you worried about your health, relationships, money, career, or more? You may not feel that your worries are a big deal, but your body sure does. Our bodies react to emotional fears and anxieties as if there’s an imminent threat. We feel every single thought we have. Unknowingly, we’re creating a vicious cycle between our negative thoughts and our physical reactions to them. New fears build upon hidden fears. Addressing fears and anxieties helps put them into perspective. It also can help to make room for something else: Clearing head space helps to open up heart space. Think about it. What kind of support do you desire in a relationship? What actions or tendencies make you feel intimately connected? Now, turn that around. Can you give that kind of support with grace and ease? Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s difficult to be kind, loving, patient, supportive, and understanding when the mind is stuck in overdrive. In fact, it’s extremely challenging to listen to others at all, with a nagging inner voice repeating in an endless loop. When clients share that their relationships aren’t as deep as they’d like them to be, it provides a great opportunity to see if there’s mental clutter getting in the way. The great side effect of this discovery process is that when we become more aware of our inner thought patterns, we become more calm, less anxious, and more at peace with our own company. Being happy and content when alone is a key factor in the success of being content in relationships. True intimacy comes from a peaceful place of love and acceptance of your partner. And, creating that peaceful heart space for you must come first. Interestingly, that’s exactly what happened for Sara. She learned healthy ways to deal with her anxieties. As it turns out, her husband didn’t have an infidelity problem. He had an intimacy problem due to his own fears about her declining health and her chaotic behaviors. Once she was able to support and address her own needs, she found the space to support his, too. Together, they created the caring and loving relationship they desired. Over time, other things fell into place for Sara. She stopped the behaviors that were creating chaos, replacing them with self-care activities that supported her goals. Perhaps your head space could use some clearing and de-cluttering? Or perhaps you’ve done this type of work on your own. What stress management practices do you find most powerful? Freeing up head space opens up your heart for deeper, more meaningful relationships. I can’t wait to hear your own heart space success stories! _________________________ Sue Ingebretson ( is an author, speaker, certified holistic health care practitioner and the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton. She is also a Patient Advocate/Fibromyalgia Expert for the Alliance Health website and a Fibromyalgia writer for the ProHealth website community. Her #1 Amazon best-selling chronic illness book, FibroWHYalgia, details her journey from chronic illness to chronic wellness. She is also the creator of the FibroFrog™– a therapeutic stress-relieving tool which provides powerful healing benefits with fun and whimsy. Would you like to find out more about the effects of STRESS on your body? Download Sue’s free Is Stress Making You Sick? guide and discover your own Stress Profile by taking the surveys provided in this detailed 23-page report.