Do you listen to your body?
Do you understand what its messages?
Miriam Manela of Thrive OT suggests we listen without judgment, without shaming or blaming.
Hearing Your Body’s Song is excerpted from the new book, The Parent-Child Dance: A Guide to Help You Understand and Shape Your Child’s Behavior by Miriam Manela, OTR/L, and C.R. Zwolinski (of the Therapy Soup blog at PsychCentral.com):
Hearing Your Body’s Song
If it’s hard for you to identify your emotions and feelings, try paying attention to the physical signals your body is telling you. Our bodies let us know what we’re really feeling, if we only slow down and listen to them. Below are some common expressions of intense emotion that occur. Note that body signals appear in more than one emotional category. In real life, we may experience more than one feeling at a time, too.
Annoyance and/or Disgust: Eye rolling, explosive or frequent sighs, groans, clenching of teeth or jaw, shudders, nausea, shaking of head, tense or shrill voice, curling of lip, desire to avoid touch of another person.
Anger: Clenching of teeth or jaw, difficulty swallowing, slight to extreme clenching of fists, rapid heartbeat, flaring nostrils, headache, dizziness, feelings of unreality or being separated from your “self” or “body,” chest pain, feeling like your are going to explode, burning or freezing sensations in your body or head, sweating, red face.
Stress and Anxiety: Overwhelming tension, irritability, close to tears, rapid heartbeat, feeling frozen or stuck, lack of appetite or extreme munchies/hunger, indigestion, nail biting, constant physical ailments, obsessive thoughts/worries, insomnia, feelings of dread, feeling like your mind’s gone blank/inability to think.
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself, don’t be surprised. Everybody has feelings like these sometimes. It’s when these feelings interfere with our ability to live joyful, fulfilling lives, or have a depleting effect on our relationships, that we want to make a greater effort to understand where they’re coming from. When we’re engaged in this process, it’s important also to treat ourselves with compassion.