Today I felt provoked by a situation that made me feel annoyed and frustrated. I realized how I was feeling but continued to motor ahead with my tasks regardless of what I was feeling. Then I caught myself and realized I was ignoring myself and the wisdom by body was feeling.
It is so easy to prioritize the external demands of our work, our home or others and numb ourselves to the physical and emotional needs our body regularly communicates. We are accustomed to feeling time-pressure consistently throughout our day, everything leads to the next and we can go through a day without ever checking ‘in’ and asking ourselves ‘how am I doing today?’.
An opportunity for new awareness slips easily away when we jump from one task to another.
So I want to encourage myself and you to actually STOP when you feel triggered by something- when an emotion, feeling or sensation comes to your awareness.
How to Access Greater Body Wisdom
Or if you really can’t stop, promise yourself that as soon as you arrive at your destination or can jump into a quiet room that you will take time to be aware of this feeling.
Many feelings and emotions are fleeting and pass quickly- don’t dismiss them, they often leave a residue that we have to deal with later or that will affect other aspects of our life as a result of being pushed aside. When emotions or feelings are especially painful then your body is screaming as loud as it can for attention so you can’t ignore it.
So no matter what you’re experiencing take some time to feel the benefits of this wellbeing practice.
Sit where you won’t be disturbed for at least 10 minutes.
Place your hands somewhere on the body that reassures you, soothes you or gives you comfort. This may be placing your hands on the belly or over the heart.
Breathe and expand any areas of pain or discomfort through the action of your breathing.
Begin to slow down your exhale. Feel the reassurance of your hands encouraging you to be at ease and relax deeper.
If you feel it is impossible to calm your mind then try the mantra- I AM. As you inhale breathe in ‘ I ‘ and as you exhale slowly say in your mind ‘ AM ‘.
From this relaxed state you will have greater perspective to observe the emotion or feeling you observed in yourself.
If you feel a physical or emotional pain allow yourself to bring all your awareness to this place, breathe into it and let the associated emotions, reactions and impulses arise. Observe them without distraction.
It is common to suddenly feel a need to do something else here- this is part of the process. When you resist the temptation to do something else you build resilience and set a new standard of self-compassion and awareness that the mind needs to adjust to. So stay present!
Through the attention you place on your physical or emotional experience you activate your listening. Listening to the texture, sensation and sometimes messages associated to your feeling.
Say to yourself “I recognise my pain, I am listening to my body.”
Keep breathing and allow yourself to fully experience the breadth of what you are feeling. By doing this you are acknowledging the body’s message.
In listening, you allow your body awareness to grow. In dedicating time to do this you will better “feel” the response of your body in future scenarios and the practice of self-compassion will become a more natural response.
The body knows best and unfortunately, it can be dominated by the mind until a more serious physical incident arrests us into attention. The body is the interface between you and your environment- it has a deeper purpose beyond its appearance.
Developing greater somatic awareness in everyday situations is essential for our wellbeing- registering how we feel and taking time to listen to it helps us discover habits, find solutions and better understand who we are!
Love your body, trust its wisdom, listen to all it has to say!
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