Are You Carrying The Weight Of The World On Your Shoulders?

Are You Carrying The Weight Of The World On Your Shoulders?

Have you ever looked at someone and thought, ‘they look like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders’? But have you ever stopped and wondered what it was about that person that made you think that?

“She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there, leaning on the balcony railing, holding the Universe together”
J.D. Salinger

Our posture can communicate as much about how we are feeling as our facial expressions. Take a moment to think about the following two scenarios.

When something exciting happens that makes you feel on top of the world, how do you find your body reacting? Do you stand taller? Do you hold your head higher? Do you feel lighter?

What about when you are tired, stressed or something bad happens? How does your posture change? Do you carry your shoulders lower? Maybe you feel heavier?

The body language of your shoulders gives away more than you think. So does shoulder pain.

Connecting physical pain with emotional wellbeing isn’t a new concept. But as we move into an age of spiritual awakening, and a growing health and wellness movement, the concept has become less ‘woo-woo’.

For decades writers, such as Louise Hay, have talked about the strong connection between shoulder pain and the emotional burdens that we carry. Women, in particular, store a lot in their shoulders.

Shoulder tightness and pain is the most common complaint I see in clinical practice by far. And nine times out of ten of my patients with shoulder pain are women. When I start talking with these women about their daily lives one thing becomes abundantly clear. They are either carrying the emotional weight of others in their lives, or the emotional weight of themselves.

The right and left shoulders have different energies and they communicate very different things to us. If you understand how the brain works, it is just the same.

The right side of your body is your masculine side, or your Yang energy. It is more rational, logical, assertive and tends to hold anger. The right shoulder is associated with your Outer World and carries the weight of others emotional needs.

The left side of your body is your feminine side, or your Yin energy. It is more intuitive, receptive, passive and tends to hold sadness. The left shoulder is associated with your Inner World and carries the weight of our emotional needs.

So, if you are experiencing shoulder pain, tightness or discomfort right now I want you to ask yourself the following questions. I would also encourage you to set some time aside to journal on each of them as it is a wonderful way to begin seeing things a little clearer.

  • Is your life stressful at the moment, and what is causing you to feel this way? What is one thing you can let go of, even just for now?
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed by all that you have going on, and what do you keep saying ‘yes’ to that might be making you feel resentful? Do you need to keep saying ‘yes’, or is it time to begin learning how to say ‘no’.
  • Are you taking on the emotional baggage of others in your life? So often we want to help or ‘fix’ those close to us, but it is important to remember that they are on their own journey.
  • Are there stories from your past that you are holding on to that need to be released?
  • Do you always put yourself last on your list of priorities, and how can you begin to take a little more care of yourself?

Your body is full of wisdom. It is communicating with you every day. In some instances physical pain is just that. A part of your body is injured and is painful. But at other times the pain that you are experiencing is your body telling you that something in your life needs addressing. Intuitively we usually know what that is.

So what is your shoulder pain telling you today?

It is now up to you to listen and take one small step towards healing both your emotional and physical health. Sometimes it is hard to know what step to take first. If you would like someone to talk to then I offer a free 30 minute initial consult as part of my ‘Heal Your Body’ coaching program. You can book a session by clicking here. This is just where I listen, offer my advice and if you feel guided to you can continue working with me through a three month 1:1 program. If I feel like there is a better option out there for you then I will tell you, but I will always provide you with as much support as you need during our cal together.

And please feel free to share with me any ‘aha’ moments that you have had while reading through this post in the comments below. I always love to hear from you.

Yours in Healing & Health,


PS. If you know of someone who you think may just need to read this post today then please feel free to share it with them.


  1. I see this especially when I’m at work. When there is a lot going on and you feel responsible. I used to blame the table I was sitting at. Not anymore. It doesn’t bother me on low stress days. Great post Nicola!

    • Thanks Lauren! It is so easy to blame everything else isn’t it, when sometimes we just need to tune in a little more to ourselves and ask what is truly going!

  2. I find it fascinating that the left shoulder is associated with our feminine energy and inner self! It’s definitely a sign that I am carrying the weight of my inner critic on my shoulders. Hopefully this awareness is the first step to being more kind to myself and letting go of the perfectionism! Love your work x

    • Thank you lovely! It has always been my right shoulder which plays up, and it is always when I am putting everyone and everything else ahead of my own wellbeing. I find it really fascinating too! I can’t wait to talk to you about this a little more xo


Please feel free to leave any comments below

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *