When I teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, I commonly hear people say how disconnected they are from their bodies.
Even though we use our bodies to wash dishes, go for a jog, or drive to the grocery store, we’re typically unaware of the supportive role our bodies play on a daily basis. What’s more, we’re usually fairly detached from the way our bodies feel in any given moment. For example, when I invite people to tune into a bodily sensation, I often see a look of perplexion followed by, “I’ll have to get back to you on that.”
Our bodies are a storehouse of information. This means that the body can detect stress long before our energy crashes and we feel out of control. The mind, on the other hand, is quite good at steadily, and frantically, pushing us along until we can’t take anymore.
Awareness of how the body is feeling is crucial to our ability to implement practices and strategies that mitigate overwhelm, future blow-up’s, and health crises. Do you know how your body feels in an anxious state? I experience tightness through my shoulders, achiness in my neck, and a flood of heat (energy) to my head. Once I see these signs arise, I’m able to take care of myself in new ways, whether I step outside for fresh air, leave my office for a change of perspective, or close my eyes to feel a few cycles of breath.
See if you can experiment with getting to know the physical signs that accompany anxiety in your body. This insight is foundational to creating more space for quiet, calm, and ease.