Listening to our Bodies

"The body is a teacher. It often knows what’s wrong before our brains catch up..."

The body is a teacher.  It often knows what’s wrong before our brains catch up.  Its aches, pains, and discomforts can tell us to eat something, change our posture, or go see a doctor to take care of our physical needs.  Our body is also finely tuned into our emotional world.

It is easy with our busy lives to feel like were going and going and going, and that there’s no time to do anything else.  When we end up in these states, it is very easy to lose touch with what’s going on inside ourselves and our body.  Because of this, we can find ourselves feeling uneasy or strange and not know why.  When this happens, our body is trying to tell us something.  It may be trying to tell us something as simple as “I’m hungry” or that “my blood sugar is low”, and the solution can be as easy as eating a small snack or a meal.

It could also be trying to tell us something important about our emotional state.  The uneasiness that we feel may be the result of an emotions hiding out of sight from our mind in our bodies.  Because of this, it can be helpful to check-in with our bodies when we are feeling uneasy or strange without knowing why.  We don’t have to stay with the sensation if it gets to be too uncomfortable, but tuning into our bodies can be a helpful tool for learning and listening to ourselves.

An easy exercise to do so is to find a comfortable position, close your eyes or rest your eyes with a soft gaze on something in the room, and then begin by taking a few deep breaths into your belly.  After a few breaths, begin scanning for sensations for the body.  Try to first locate a position in your body that feels comfortable and relaxed.  Once you have located one or many, spend some time noticing the sensation with curiosity, noticing how it feels and changes as you observe it.  After you’ve spent some time with this sensation begin looking for any other sensations in the body, becoming aware of them, noticing the way that they feel and fluctuate, and just allowing them to be in your awareness.  If the feelings ever become too intense, you can come back to your comfortable and relaxing place in the body, and return to the other sensation when your feel comfortable or just stay with the comfortable and relaxing place.  After spending a couple minutes with your body, you can open your eyes and begin looking around the room or wiggle your toes and fingers until you feel ready to continue your day with more presence in your body.

If you would like additional support checking-in with yourself, The Refuge Center is here. Call us at 615-591-5262 today.

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, Matthew Maloney

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