Self-Empowerment and Your Emotional and Physical Health

The Role that Women's Empowerment Plays in Your Wellbeing

Self-Empowerment and Your Emotional and Physical Health

For the past 8 years, I have been working as a self-employed Therapeutic Coach, helping clients who are suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety and other related conditions, to get their health and their lives back.

What does this have to do with women’s empowerment? Well, the clue is in the title!

Because, although it is important to point out that many men suffer from these conditions and I have worked with a lot of male clients, it remains that the vast majority of people living with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are women, as are the majority of people I work with.

And, given what I believe to be the root cause of these conditions and the ways in which I help my clients recover, it all has a lot to do with self-empowerment.

Women’s empowerment may mean different things to different people.

For me it is really knowing how to be true to yourself and practising it; it is knowing what your own, personal needs are and striving to meet them first and foremost; it is being able to tune into your inner guidance system (your emotions) and follow it in order to make decisions that are right for you and create a life you love. 

Learning to do this will truly transform your life.

When some people hear phrases like “women’s empowerment”, it might conjure up images of feminist protests, of people using crystals or fire ceremonies to summon their inner goddess or of nature-loving women, dancing unshaven and naked in a field, proclaiming they fully embrace themselves and all that they are…

woman in field

Now, it may be any or all of those things and everything in between – and if that’s true for you, that’s okay! And if it’s not true for you, that’s also okay! It may be that, for you, women’s empowerment is a business suit or being clad in leather and denim, motorbikes and loud music or, perhaps, training every day to realise your dream of playing in the World Cup or being a champion powerlifter. 

women playing football

It may be none of the above since the list I have given isn’t exactly exhaustive. And that’s also okay.

Because, my whole point is that it’s not one singular thing or idea. It is what it is for you - truly; deep down. We are different and that’s for a reason – we are individuals, because how boring a world would it be if being a woman in all your glory meant being the same as every other woman on the planet?

There is so much judgement in the world for those who do things we don’t think they should be doing or who don’t do certain things.

Most of us grow up believing we have to fit in with the majority to be loved, accepted and respected, only to find out that the opposite is true if we want all those things (love, acceptance and respect) from the right people - ourselves included!

It’s often later in life before we come to this realisation, so we get used to suppressing our beliefs and opinions; we adopt those of others and start living how others do, and when that doesn’t make us feel good, we suppress those feelings, also.

Before we know it, many of us have buried decades’ worth of ourselves, our beliefs, our emotions… And the ramifications of doing this can be enormous. 

Let me explain further.

We have emotions for a reason: they are our personal inner guidance system to keep us right. This guidance system tells us when we like something, and that it’s good for us and - conversely - when we don’t like something, and that it’s not so good for us.


Emotions are our internal navigation system

We are meant to be unique; we are meant to take in the world around us and know how we – as an individual – feel about it at a gut level. From that, we are meant to make decisions and life choices in order to create a life that pleases us, that we love and enjoy.  

When we ignore our primary emotions (how we truly feel about stuff), we do not feel good; we start to feel bad. We experience more and more negative emotions because we are not being and doing and having what makes us happy and feel fulfilled. We might even be subjecting ourselves to - or settling for - things that make us extremely unhappy.

Negative primary (gut) emotions are our inner guidance system’s warning signs. When we ignore them, what can happen is that the body’s stress response – which is a physical, chemical response – is triggered. When this biochemical state (also known as fight or flight) is activated for a prolonged period, it can take its toll on the body which is how emotional suppression can often lead to the manifestation of physical symptoms and conditions.

effect of stress on the body

The body under stress. Copyright Susan Murray

All of this forms the basis of the work I do. My approach is about helping clients to get back into alignment with themselves by learning to follow their inner guidance system; to discover and be who they are; to be true to themselves and to speak their truth; to know and meet their own needs and to lead by example.

When they do this, they become happier and more fulfilled because they are doing what they want to do and living how they want to live. They stop living in fight or flight mode, causing their symptoms to disappear; their pain goes and their energy returns, meaning they truly can live how they want, without fear of symptoms to hold them back.

It’s amazing for me to see the transformation clients go through – I never tire of it. I was never able to see my own Mum recover from M.E. but I was determined that her life and death was not going to be in vain. It has brought me to this point; a point where I am able to pass on knowledge and tools to others and support them in recovering their health and reclaiming their life.

So you see, for me, women’s empowerment is not simply a phase, a phrase or even a movement - it’s the difference between thriving and merely surviving; between really, truly living life and merely riding out our time here.

If you are either looking to recover your health or prevent health issues from developing and the above has resonated with you, please feel welcome to visit my website and get in touch about the help I can offer.