Yes, it is attached to you, but how aware of it are you? How closely do you listen to the hints and messages that it gives you?
Are you living life through your thoughts or in your body? Can you enjoy and FEEL the experiences that you are having or are you just there physically?
In working with people, I have found that so many fail to acknowledge the impact that an event, difficult situation, or current situation has on their body. They often focus on what is going on in their head (thoughts) or their outer world (things are falling apart, they feel unhappy). But we often fail to take into account the impact of these situations on our body. Because of this, our body gets neglected and we don't start to realize the impact of the stress until our symptoms are so bad that we can't ignore them any longer. But every event or difficult situation that was hard for you has probably affected your body in some way. We forget that every time we get stressed, there is actually a chemical that our body releases, Cortisol. We forget that we respond to things bodily without even realizing. Our body responds to stimuli just as much as our minds do. There is a reason that the term, "body language" exists. Our body is communicating and responding whether we consciously intend to or not. And often times, we do not realize these responses are occurring, because they are done so unconsciously.
Imagine this: You are talking to a friend and they say something that hit a soft spot for you. Your shoulders raise, chest tightens, and your stomach sinks. You don't know what to say in return, because you feel awkward acknowledging that they just hurt your feelings. But did you notice the body process that just occurred?
Maybe you experienced something/someone that triggers something from your past. You don't know whether you should run away or just stay and get over it. However, your breath shortens, your heartbeat quickens, and you feel yourself in a state of panic.
In both situations, most likely the body sensations that occurred were not acknowledged. It is easier to go into thought and get stuck there. However, our emotions and body sensations are screaming out to us to be noticed. But it is often easier to stay disconnected from your body if it brings up difficult emotions for you. Being connected forces you to feel those unpleasant emotions.
Have you had an experience which has affected your ability to feel safe in your body and be able to acknowledge what it is telling you? Do you question your body because it has betrayed you in the past?
If our emotions are not experienced and acknowledged, our body starts to feel the effects. For instance, you may start to notice that you are experiencing headaches, tightness in your shoulders, and stiffness in your neck, what do you think this is indicating? Often times, we shrug it off and say that we don't have time to deal with those symptoms. However, 0ur body is often responding to how we are feeling internally. Whether this be stress, a difficult life situation, something from our past, or a difficult relationship.
I recently wrote a blog on mindfulness and this coincides pretty closely. It takes mindfulness to be willing to acknowledge our body. It takes us slowing down and pausing the chaos to be aware of what is going on inside of us.
1. Do you find yourself responding defensively?
Did something hit a chord for you? Did someone say something that just didn't feel right, or hurt a little more than you thought it might? Is that bringing up anything from your past? Our past strongly affects our future and therefore we have responses to things that may bring up difficult memories. Notice what happens in your body when you experience something like this come up. Give yourself a minute to feel the position that your body has taken. Are your shoulders tense? Take a moment to relax them. Did you feel your stomach tighten, take a moment to breathe and let it loosen. Do you find tears coming up? Maybe let them fall.
2. Find a way to process the emotion that came up for you.
These emotions are coming up for a reason, and your body is responding for a reason. Don't ignore it. These are the best hints that can let you know the areas of your life that may still have a hold on you. Will you give yourself an opportunity to not only make your body a priority, but ultimately YOU a priority? Listen to your body and give it the credit that it deserves.
How often do you listen to your body and acknowledge its needs? How often do you take the hints that are being thrown as an indication that there is something more going on emotionally?
You deserve to live a mindful and fulfilling life!
Nurtured Hearts Counseling's Blog
I am a Therapist in Lone Tree, Colorado and my goal for this blog is to explore taboo subjects that no one is willing to talk about and I am eager to bring awareness to.
5 Ways to Ease Anxiety