Find out how to get out of your head, into your physique


Studying Time: 6 minutes

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

If you wish to discuss physiology, our brains and our our bodies are in fixed two-way communication. That ensures that essential-to-life features 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 positively impacts the state of your mind.

And people are just some examples. A powerful mind-body connection helps us look after 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 essentially 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, whenever you spend most of your time misplaced in your ideas, your expertise of life will get quick shrift. As a result of whenever you’re pondering, you aren’t noticing and experiencing the current second. You aren’t aware.

After all, to get out of your head, you have got to pay attention to whenever you’re caught there, replaying previous occasions or rehearsing future eventualities. However, how you do this? We’ve already established that whenever you’re caught up in ideas, you aren’t very conscious.

You can merely seize the second whenever 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 pondering) and drop down into your physique.

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

  • Your ft 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 into proxies for the bottom, or earth. Therefore “grounding.” (Doing a sluggish barefoot strolling meditation outdoors on grass or different protected surfaces could be 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 alternative), and observe what you are feeling there. Rigidity? Tingling? Vitality? Tightness? Softness? Contraction? Expansiveness? Heat?

A quick observe about trauma

If in case you have a historical past of bodily or sexual trauma, or you probably have endured loads of verbal abuse directed at your physique, then your physique won’t really feel like a protected place to be. You might not wish to drop down into your physique by way of a physique scan. In actual fact it won’t be a good suggestion for you to take action with out skilled steerage from a trauma or somatic therapist.

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

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

Why it’s price slowing your roll

Are you dashing on a regular basis? In that case, you’re in all probability pondering, and never experiencing your physique and its environment. I broke my little toe this manner a number of years in the past, dashing 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 certain skilled my physique then!

Whenever you transfer extra slowly, you discover extra. I put a halt to energy strolling whereas sightseeing on trip just a few years after the damaged toe incident, as a result of I needed 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 after I fold fitted sheets makes the method extra satisfying, much less irritating .(I’ve the method down, however it goes extra easily when executed slowly.)

Slowing down may be formal or casual. Tai chi, which includes sluggish, aware motion together with deep respiratory is one formal apply, and analysis reveals that individuals who do apply it are much less prone to expertise stress, anxiousness or melancholy. For now, considered one of my casual practices is to stroll by way of my backyard every day (even when I’m not truly gardening) to admire and examine in on every plant.

One other casual slow-down apply is to mindfully bathe or bathe (this can be grounding, as a result of water is a pure aspect). I’ll admit that I do a few of my greatest pondering within the bathe, however generally 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 aspect of Intuitive Consuming is interoceptive consciousness. This consists of the flexibility to note inside cues of starvation and fullness, however it’s a lot greater than that – it’s about perceiving all method of inside 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 essential, 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 elements of the physique. One among my “tells” for after I’ve been experiencing low-level stress for a time period (usually when I’ve loads of a number of deadlines in fast succession) is that my higher again will turn into very tense. Usually, that’s what I discover first, then I understand, “Oh yeah…the previous couple of weeks have been hectic!” Then I prioritize becoming in some significant self-care.

We are able to’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 may assist us determine what emotion we’re feeling. I assumed this text on Greatist mentioned this concept properly.

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

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


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

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