The physical body is truly remarkable.
And the more we learn about it, the more we see how interconnected our physical body is to our emotional well being.
Thanks to neuroscience, we now know that the body stores stress, memories, and trauma.
In part because the physical body is always present!
Whether you’re watching a movie or sleeping, working on the computer or making a speech – regardless of where your attention is, your body is present in that physical space.
It’s like the silent witness.
Which is why, it’s even more important than ever to work with the body when a trauma occurs – from something small like a rejection to something big like a car accident or physical violence.
Yes, it’s vital to talk about what happened and process your thoughts and emotions. But don’t forget to also support your body in that healing work.
Because when we experience trauma, it’s common to feel completely unsafe.
Here are 3 ways to safely return to your body:
1. Self Hug
Take your right hand and place it under your left armpit, kind of over your heart. Then take your left hand and place it on your upper right shoulder. Take a few deep breaths as you gently hold yourself.
As somatic therapist, Peter Levine notes, this technique helps you to become more aware of your body as a container. It also helps release tension.
Place your right hand on your forehead. Place your left hand over your heart chakra in the center of your chest. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths until you feel a shift in energy and physical sensation. Then take your right hand and move it to the center of your belly, over your belly button. Breathe in again with eyes closed until feel a shift. This will help you ground back into your body and have more clarity and less anxiety.
Gently tap or squeeze your arms, and legs. This is another exercise that helps you return into your physical body and feel the stress/tension contract.
Whenever you feel trauma or even anxiety, try one or all 3 of these exercises and see if by reconnecting to your body you can release tension and feel more relaxed in this sacred vessel that is your physical body.