Somatic coaching is a method I use that involves helping my clients become more mindful of their bodies as a means to overcome such things as anxiety, childhood traumas, stress, and more. You’re probably thinking that you’re already aware of your body, but I’m speaking more in terms of how we listen to our bodies. Our bodies are smarter than we are, but people tend to do everything possible to avoid what our bodies are telling us throughout the day.
What happens when you put your hand on a hot stove? You flinch and pull back before the heat has a chance to scorch your skin in many cases, right? Your body inhabits a natural reflex that removes your hand from the danger quicker than your conscious mind can calculate what’s happening.
Learning to listen to our bodies is one of the most powerful and instrumental things we can do to achieve happiness and contentment in our lives because it’s this communication that helps lead us in the right direction with just about everything. Unfortunately, most of society has become a mass of talking heads, traveling throughout the world, completely unattached to their bodies. We’re wandering aimlessly around our lives, hoping we’ll bump into happiness, peace, and contentment by mere happenstance.
Communicating with Our Bodies
I once worked with a client who used detachment as a way to cope with severe emotional traumas she’d experienced as a child. She did everything she could to ignore the signals of distress her body was sending her, but this manifested itself in other ways such as through poor body image and self-hatred. Because her body sent so many alarms about her internal pain and struggles, she blamed her unhappiness on her physical body!
Our internal beings—our souls—communicate closely with our bodies, which then act as hazard alarms to tell us when something is wrong internally. Once we learn somatics and how to understand the signals our bodies are sending us straight from our souls, we begin the process of wholeness. Once we’re attuned to our physical beings, we can learn to create or alter our realities.
Somatic coaching recognizes that the human body is a separate entity from our spirits, souls, and intuitions. There is a beautiful partnership happening between all these entities within us, that communicate emotional energies that can ignite us, reveal our passions, and influence our futures.
Somatically, we can tap into the body’s sensory messaging system, which can help us make better decisions. For example, we can listen to our gut, which can act almost as a second brain sometimes. Ever heard the phrase, “I feel it in my gut”? There’s some truth to that statement! As a mom, I can attest that I’ve had plenty of those “gut moments” with my kids when I’ve perhaps met a friend of theirs that didn’t quite sit well with me, or when they’ve told me a story that didn’t feel entirely honest to me or my gut!
So how can you start incorporating somatic practices into your own life? Try these steps.
- Mindfulness. Be mindful of your body’s signals. Instead of spending the day in denial about what your body feels, practice noticing sensations and responses. You can jot them down into a journal and reflect on possible root causes for these feelings.
- Embracing. As you grow more attuned and aware with/of the signals your body sends you, begin embracing these feelings as natural and okay. Try using breathing exercises as you reflect on these signals and allow yourself to feel them fully.
- Suspending. As you scan your body in a kind of meditative or reflective way, remove judgmental thoughts from your pool of reactions. Realize that your body’s reactions to internal things are normal and allowed!
- Centering. We all have things that keep us at peace or ease our spirits. Find the things that create this for you and discover a balanced center within yourself.
- Grounding. Now that you’re fully in-tune with your body, mentally plant yourself to the ground. Become acutely aware of how gravity keeps your body firmly on the earth. Think of each body part from your head to your feet to help you.
- Visualizing. Our internal energy has the power to create the lives we truly want. We must visualize the things we’ve always wanted or that make us happy, and then reframe our negative emotions and thoughts to those that are constructive for our goals.
Of course, these are just a few, very simple somatic practices that you can use in your daily life to become more aware of your body and heal from negative emotions. I’ll do my best to write about somatics more in the coming months, but I hope this has provided at least some insight into what’s happening with your body during uncomfortable and scary emotional times.
In the coming weeks, I challenge you to analyze every thought you have about yourself and your body. Determine whether these thoughts are misrepresentations of your body based on the uncomfortable feelings you have. Begin investigating where these negative thoughts have come from and tear them out of your body by the roots.
If you sit in a negative space of self-judgment about the shape, color, or overall design of your body, you’ll be forever distracted from realizing your true potential. Remember, your body is merely alarming you to the goings-on within you, and once you realize and accept this, you’re able to truly take control of everything within you. This is a key element to creating a life by design because our positive energy attracts more positive energy.
If you’d like to learn more about somatics or need further direction on how to overcome negative emotions or body image, please feel free to reach out for one-on-one coaching today.