By: Starielle Hope
Once you have learned how to feel a “yes” or a “no” from your body, you are ready to start feeling for other physical sensations and other answers. If you don’t yet know how to feel a “yes” or “no” in your body, please check out my previous post: How to Tune Into Your Body's Deeper Wisdom Part One: Introduction.
The next step is to begin expanding your vocabulary when it comes to the physical sensations that comprise the language of your physical body where information that your subconscious mind tracks is stored. One excellent way to do this is to begin noticing physical sensations in your body throughout your day.
When something important happens, how does it register as physical sensations inside of your body?
I find that these physical sensations tend to be particularly prominent during times of intense emotion. These emotions could be anything across the spectrum. Maybe you hit a major milestone at work, or make a big sale, or your long-time crush finally asks you out on a date. How does that feel inside of your body?
You might feel:
Or maybe you have a more challenging experience. Perhaps you lose a big account at work, or someone you have been dating stops responding to your texts and calls. Maybe you find out a friend is sick, someone cuts you off in traffic, or you are unexpectedly hit with a large bill to fix something that's wrong with your car. How does that feel inside of your body?
You might feel:
These examples are only a small selection of what you could experience. I encourage you to dig deep beneath the emotions of “joy” “happiness” “sadness” or “anger” to the actual physical sensations you feel inside of your body. How do you know you feel joy? What physical sensations accompany that emotion? How about anger? What sensations in your body tell you that you are angry?
Once you learn to recognize which physical sensations tend to accompany which emotions, you can begin to add these sensations to your vocabulary. For me, joy and excitement often feel like a bubbly, tingly sensation rising from my stomach up through my throat.
Over time, you can recognize increasingly subtle emotions and increasingly subtle physical sensations as you develop a deeper awareness.
One of the biggest benefits of this is being able to develop a level of awareness of your physical sensations where you can actually notice that you are experiencing physical sensations that relate to a specific emotion before you are consciously aware that you are feeling that emotion.
Many of us were raised to “power through” our emotions. I personally spent so much time ignoring my emotions that I stopped feeling about 90% of them by the time I was in high school. Because I wasn’t feeling my emotions, I wasn’t processing them and they were just clogging up my system. In my early twenties I began to recognize how the weight from all of those unprocessed emotions was impacting me. I felt heavy, confused, unclear, like emotions were flurrying around in my system like a snow globe, creating a hazy fog so I couldn’t see or feel my own center anymore.
Even though I have reclaimed most of my awareness of my emotions, I find that it is so easy to become caught up in my daily life and routine to the point where I am reacting to an emotion that I don’t even notice I’m feeling.
The best tool I know of to bring emotions quickly into the conscious mind so they can be processed and moved through is to identify the physical sensations that are the signal those emotions are happening. As I focus on the physical sensations and breathe into them, I am then able to drop more deeply into the emotion, and employ my tools of breath, sound, and movement to move through the emotions and receive whatever wisdom or guidance my emotions have for me in that moment.
Photo by Justin Rosenberg