Nutrition

Methods to get out of your head, into your physique

Studying Time: 6 minutes

Do you know your head and your physique are related? No, actually…they aren’t separated on the neck! OK, I’m being a bit of flippant there, however let’s face it, many people do stroll round as if there was a spot above our collarbones, a minimum of a few of the time.

If you wish to speak physiology, our brains and our our bodies are in fixed two-way communication. That ensures that essential-to-life capabilities like respiratory and circulation occur 24-7. This communication additionally impacts the state of your nervous system – whether or not you’re in struggle, flight, freeze, please or (ideally) relaxation mode. And, as a result of a lot of the mood-boosting chemical serotonin is produced in your intestines, the well being of your intestine undoubtedly impacts the state of your mind.

And people are just some examples. A robust mind-body connection helps us take care of our well being and well-being in numerous methods.

But it surely’s common to be all up in our heads, caught up in our ideas, our worries, our anxieties. Our brains can spin probably the most doomsday, no-happy-endings-here tales concerning the state of the nation, the world, {our relationships}, our our bodies. Oh yeah…what about your physique? How do you get into it?

Cease and odor the roses

Whether or not you’re a worrier, a planner, or are simply too busy, while you spend most of your time misplaced in your ideas, your expertise of life will get brief shrift. As a result of while you’re considering, you aren’t noticing and experiencing the current second. You aren’t aware.

In fact, to get out of your head, you’ve got to concentrate on while you’re caught there, replaying previous occasions or rehearsing future situations. However, how you do this? We’ve already established that while you’re caught up in ideas, you aren’t very conscious.

You can merely seize the second while you do occur to note you’re in your head and just about oblivious to the world round you. You may also set exterior reminders (alarms, cellphone notifications) prompting you to cease what you might be doing (and considering) and drop down into your physique.

The 2 methods I like to do that are to get grounded or to do a physique scan. If you “floor” your self, you flip your consideration to the locations the place your physique contacts surfaces.

  • Your toes on the ground
  • Your butt and the again of your thighs in a chair
  • The again of your physique on the ground or mattress

These turn out to be proxies for the bottom, or earth. Therefore “grounding.” (Doing a sluggish barefoot strolling meditation exterior on grass or different secure surfaces is usually a beautiful, and literal, grounding train. You can additionally stand, sit or lay within the grass.)

There are numerous types of physique scans, however they primarily boil right down to putting your consideration one physique half at a time, beginning on the head or the toes (your selection), and notice what you’re feeling there. Stress? Tingling? Power? Tightness? Softness? Contraction? Expansiveness? Heat?

A quick notice about trauma

If in case you have a historical past of bodily or sexual trauma, or if in case you have endured quite a lot of verbal abuse directed at your physique, then your physique may not really feel like a secure place to be. It’s possible you’ll not wish to drop down into your physique by way of a physique scan. The truth is it may not be a good suggestion for you to take action with out skilled steering from a trauma or somatic therapist.

Usually, grounding workouts are secure and helpful for trauma survivors, since you’re merely connecting with the bodily world. As talked about above, this may take the type of turning your consideration to the texture of your toes on the ground or your butt within the chair. You may also flip your consideration, and your senses, to the world round you. You may have a look at, and title, objects, textures or colours. You may discover and title smells or sounds.

Strolling may also be a grounding train (offered you’ll be able to stroll). You may discover your toes placing the bottom, the texture of the breeze or solar in your pores and skin, the sounds of birds or rustling leaves.

Why it’s value slowing your roll

Are you speeding on a regular basis? If that’s the case, you’re in all probability considering, and never experiencing your physique and its environment. I broke my little toe this manner a number of years in the past, speeding out of my bed room to…I don’t even bear in mind why…and stubbing my toe on one of many wood mattress posts. I positive skilled my physique then!

If you transfer extra slowly, you discover extra. I put a halt to energy strolling whereas sightseeing on trip a couple of years after the damaged toe incident, as a result of I wished to SEE issues, not simply race from level A to level B. (This was in Hawaii, no much less, which is an ideal place to sluggish your tempo.) Slowing down once I fold fitted sheets makes the method extra satisfying, much less irritating .(I’ve the method down, nevertheless it goes extra easily when carried out slowly.)

Slowing down may be formal or casual. Tai chi, which includes sluggish, aware motion together with deep respiratory is one formal follow, and analysis reveals that individuals who do follow it are much less more likely to expertise stress, nervousness or despair. For now, considered one of my casual practices is to stroll via my backyard each day (even when I’m not really gardening) to admire and verify in on every plant.

One other casual slow-down follow is to mindfully bathe or bathe (this may also be grounding, as a result of water is a pure factor). I’ll admit that I do a few of my finest considering within the bathe, however typically I deliberately take note of how the water feels on my pores and skin. You may also flip it into a pleasant work-to-home transition by visualizing the stresses of the day washing or soaking away.

Interoceptive consciousness

One key factor of Intuitive Consuming is interoceptive consciousness. This consists of the flexibility to note inner cues of starvation and fullness, nevertheless it’s a lot greater than that – it’s about perceiving all method of inner states and sensations. A full bladder. A “intestine feeling” about somebody. A racing coronary heart. Plus, any of the sensations (and extra) that I discussed above when speaking about physique scans.

That final bit is vital, as a result of whereas ideas are in our head, feelings are felt, skilled and saved in our our bodies. Totally different feelings activate completely different components of the physique. One in every of my “tells” for once I’ve been experiencing low-level stress for a time period (typically when I’ve quite a lot of a number of deadlines in speedy succession) is that my higher again will turn out to be very tense. Usually, that’s what I discover first, then I understand, “Oh yeah…the previous couple of weeks have been aggravating!” Then I prioritize becoming in some significant self-care.

We will’t are inclined to our feelings if we don’t discover them. Being conscious of physique sensations related to feelings does greater than inform us that we’re feeling one thing, it could possibly assist us establish what emotion we’re feeling. I believed this text on Greatist mentioned this concept properly.

Once we can establish our feelings, we will then both make room for them to fade, or take motion to reduce their depth extra rapidly. To echo what I mentioned about trauma above, if it doesn’t really feel secure to be in your physique, then tuning into how feelings really feel within the physique gained’t really feel secure both.

Equally, people who find themselves neurodivergent (ADHD, autism spectrum dysfunction, or plenty of different circumstances) could have bother with interoception. That may also be true for neurotypical individuals who have simply spent a LOT of time of their heads, though they’ll often enhance interoceptive abilities in the event that they so select.


Carrie Dennett is a Pacific Northwest-based registered dietitian nutritionist, freelance author, intuitive consuming counselor, creator, and speaker. Her superpowers embrace busting vitamin myths and empowering girls to really feel higher of their our bodies and make meals decisions that help pleasure, vitamin and well being.

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