Our thoughts rule our life. This is true for most of us, most of the time. We are guided by what we think we should or should not do and rarely allow our bodies and how we truly feel to guide us. This can lead to higher stress levels, lower levels of contentment and a feeling of imbalance. Working on allowing your body to speak to you can be done with simple techniques and will have a huge positive impact on your sense of self and overall well- being.
We are mind and body and the interrelated connection of these two elements. If you have read some of my previous posts you have probably already seen me writing this sentence before, but I don’t think it can be repeated enough.
Allowing ourselves to feel is a way to listen to our internal world. In our thought- ruled world it can easily happen that we have un-learn to listen to what is going on inside of us.
To many allowing oneself to feel is somewhat connected to weakness. Some people are afraid to feel, because doing so means to have to deal with emotions and problems. In other cases individuals have learnt to ignore how and what they feel in order to be able to work over hours, train their bodies (in an un-natural way), or follow a strict diet. We are strong beings and are able to live and adapt, but eventually our system will speak to us and express itself by becoming either mentally or physically unwell.
Listening to your body and noticing what your body feels is in no way a weakness, in fact it results in the opposite and strengthens your sense of self well- being. It sends a message to your brain telling it that you are here. It makes you feel present, and embodied. Interoception, which is the intra-organismic awareness in which our body communicates with the brain, plays a crucial role in our sense of self. A strong and balanced sense of self is connected to a higher well- being. On an even deeper level the construction of a sense of self is crucial for survival.
Allowing your body to speak to you can be trained with simple techniques. Yesterday I taught a yoga class with the focus on allowing yourself to feel and possibly allowing what you feel to guide your movement. It might sound very simple, but unfortunately it is not for most of us. Well, actually it is simple but not obvious to us.
Techniques, which are available to all of us, like feeling your muscles when you are in a certain form in your yoga practice or noticing the stretch are highly effective. They train your mind to allow your body to speak to you and your mind to listen to what your body is saying. This has a huge positive impact on your overall well- being and decision making.
One technique you can use any time and anywhere to connect to your body and allow it to send information to your brain is to become aware of our breath and feel it flowing through our body. Whether you are waiting for the bus, sitting in the train or in the car you can always bring your awareness to your breath and with that connect to your body.
Wishing you a great weekend,