“Idk what’s going on, but it’s a lot”, says the new toilet humour. Some other things, though, could be in the known. Let’s talk about the thyroid gland.
It’s no news that happiness is found in a healthy mind, body, and soul balance. These three aspects of existence are so interconnected that any imbalance would usually manifest in the other.
Say you feel sluggish because of hormonal imbalance and then angry at yourself when indulging in good pizza, feeling guilt while eating it, the feeling being triggered by the imbalance that caused it. Vicious circle many people find themselves in and so hard to break. A little tip – whenever you indulge in your “guilty pleasures”, don’t feel guilty about it – it’s pointless and may be poisonous.
Even the most sceptic people won’t argue that health issues and stress could lead to mental health conditions. If we would build on that, yogic teachings of chakras as energy centres to keep the balance of the body will teach you that anything to do with health is regulated through the seven powerhouses. The chakras and their balance are the keys to a thriving body and soul.
In this article, we are going to talk about mental health and the thyroid gland. The interconnectedness is mesmerising, and one thing is sure – we can’t undermine our acts and choices upon our minds and bodies.
In short: The thyroid gland
For its size and shape (butterfly-shaped, 2 inches long), the thyroid shoulders significant responsibilities for our physical and mental health. It affects metabolism, breathing, menstrual cycles and helps create energy from the food we eat.
The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, and it could take your physical and mental body on a rollercoaster. With time and stress, the imbalance could take you to a point where you no longer know what preceded the other – the mental disorder or the gland abnormality.
Get acquainted with the symptoms of abnormal thyroid function and make sure you test your T3 and T4 levels regularly (at least once a year, especially after the age of 30). Dysfunction is getting more common in the last decade and nowadays one in every eight women will develop a thyroid disorder.
Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Unusual nervousness
- Unexplained weight loss
Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Mild to severe fatigue
- Weight gain
- Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Dry skin
Now let’s take a step to the East – the fifth chakra is the throat chakra, and yogic knowledge relates its function to the thyroid gland. Vishudda Chakra (in Sanskrit) is in charge of communication and self-expression. It’s important to note that the throat chakra rules communication with others equally as our internal communication and intuition.
If you’ve been neglecting your voice, if you’ve suppressed yourself and never truly manifested your true nature in what you occupy your time with, then your Vishudi Chakra may be blocked. Such imbalance will reflect the thyroid function, so all of you caretakers always-try-to-please-everyone-around type of women, it’s time for a bit of reflection.
The case of S.
Let me tell you about my friend S – raised to be a good housewife, a wonder woman in the kitchen and a person who is always there to help. Although she is a good friend to her peeps, it seems she hasn’t invested enough in the most meaningful relationship – the one with the Self. S.is moody and suffers from anxiety attacks. Her body kept sending her signals – irregular periods, no ovulation, intolerance to many food groups, lack of energy.
Just recently, she realised that the world wouldn’t burn in ashes if she would take a day off for her own needs. While writing that, I remember the words of my mom “It’s like in the airplane where you have to put on your oxygen mask first, before aiding the others”.
There was a breakthrough moment when S. came to realise the virtue of that statement. Guess what – she found out her boyfriend is making a pretty good job cooking dinner and “riding” the vacuum cleaner. Further down the “aha moment”, she found out that leaving work on time is equally important as going on time.
Then things unfolded easily. S. bought herself canvas and oil and began drawing – gorgeous flowers and abstract forms will cover her daily routine. The more she was aligning with her ways to express herself, the more the symptoms of hormonal disbalance disappeared.
S. stepped on the road of self-expression, and along with a dietary change, her life started shifting – procrastination was no longer the habit. She realised that she could control the mood swings, period imbalances, and the feeling of a bloated stomach. She had to step back, let go of her fear of change and began manifesting her true nature – like “leave me alone and let me paint” was a potential answer to “what’s for dinner”. And that too was OK.
Because at times, we don’t know what’s going on with this world, but our bodies could be the revelation book we all have to read repeatedly.
Until we learn to make sense of it all.
- Check on it – remember to check your thyroid functions once per year and don’t neglect any symptoms for too long.
- Vishudi chakra – take time to reflect on how well you manifest your true self, dance, paint, write, draw mandalas, or learn mandarine if that will speak “Here I am” to the world.
- Yoga – throat opening poses like camel pose is a great opening sequence to the throat chakra.
- Reflect on your body periodically and learn to listen to its signs. Needless to say, it’s a sophisticated system that knows its resources and how to recover.