Being able to tune into your body and listen to what it’s telling you is key to living a healthy & happy life.
Your ability to listen to your body’s signals (known as interoceptive awareness) is a powerful skill to develop. Here’s why:
When you have clear and direct communication with your body, it’s easier for you to choose what’s good for you, such as nourishing foods, because you’re so attuned to how they make you feel.
When you're able to discern between the churning stomach of hunger and the churning stomach of anxiety, you’ll be able to give yourself what you actually need to soothe yourself.
And there’s a very nice side effect that comes from all this tuning in.
Deepening your connection with your body allows you to experience so much more pleasure through your senses.
The beauty your eyes can see, flavours that make you swoon, the deliciousness of touch - whether it's the exhilaration of diving into cold water or the comfort of snuggling into a warm bed.
Everything is enhanced when we bring our full awareness to our senses, making our experience of life richer, more vibrant, more alive.
Sometimes people are afraid to feel the depth of their emotions because it feels like losing control, or that those emotions won’t be acceptable to those around them. This can become a habitual response which hinders our capacity to feel pleasure and really enjoy life.
But tuning back into your emotions and allowing yourself to feel them more fully doesn’t have to be a leap-off-the-cliff process.
One of the simplest and most gentle ways to begin connecting to your emotions more fully starts with your body. Try the practice below to help you connect more.
Sit comfortably and close your eyes
Allow your breath to flow into your body
Feeling your belly expand on the in-breath
And releasing on the out-breath
With every in-breath, feel or visualise a sense of gentle expansion
With every out-breath, feel or visualise your body softening, relaxing
Continue this process for as long as you feel comfortable
Breathing and feeling
Feeling and breathing
Softening with every out-breath
Expanding with every in-breath
When you’ve finished, just sit quietly and notice how your body feels. Are there parts of your body that feel soft, warm? Are there parts that feel tight, constricted?
Just pay attention without judging. Just notice what you notice. You might be surprised by what you learn. And if you don’t feel anything in particular that’s okay too. Just notice the physical sensations in your body, without pushing or trying to control anything.
As you do this practice more regularly you’ll start to become more attuned to what your body is telling you. You’ll begin to notice that your body is like a barometer, giving you wise and meaningful information about how to care for yourself in the best way for you.