Here is a somatic tracking exercise to try when you’re first learning to reconnect the mind and the body.
Take stock of your body.
What can you feel right now — Anything? Nothing? Everything? Scan your body and take note of what is asking for attention. Is it your shoulders? Your hips? Lower back? How about your stomach. What’s happening there?
Explore right now how the mind and body are connected and how they affect each other.
Think of a time you were embarrassed. What sensations come up in your body?
- Do you become flushed in the face and neck?
- Do you feel a tightness in your belly?
- Does your heart race?
- Do you become tense?
These are ways that your body is responding to your thoughts.
Now, think of something delightful. A date with someone you love. Being rewarded and acknowledged for something you worked hard for (a degree, promotion, a house, a child). That time on vacation, staring at the water for hours.
Where do those sensations show up? How do you feel when you think about the details? Does your body respond differently?
Tap into your awareness of where your body feels the most discomfort and the most at ease.
Sometimes we’ve become so dissociated in our bodies that we can’t localize where the discomfort is coming from and it feels like a general ache, uncomfortableness, or even nothingness—numbness.
If, when asked “where does it hurt,” you wave your hand over your entire body and say, “Generally, here,” you’re what we call “dissociated” from your body—your brain and your body aren’t communicating correctly.
This is the brain and the body in a proactive protective mode.
By scanning and becoming aware of our body and its sensations we start to reconnect and strengthen the neural pathways. If you have had extreme stress and trauma in your lifetime, this may be very uncomfortable, so don’t push.
Continue to learn and ease into it in a way that feels safe to you.
If you’re looking for more somatic exercises, download the Your Daily™ Health Coaching App. We help you regulate daily.