Welcome to the Befriend your Body podcast! I share what I have learned from 18 years as a trauma therapist and 13 years of studying the body, physiology, Attachment theory and Neuroscience. Here are a series of podcasts about the human body, the mind and our physiology. When you understand how to listen to your body's messages, and figure out how your body works, living out your full potential, and living without anxiety and debilitating stress is possible and attainable. Listen for tools, exercises and practical knowledge that will improve your well-being and teach you to become a body whisperer!
Mindfulness tames Tigers!
In today’s podcast we use a classic story from Taoism to illustrate the content from the previous 3 podcasts. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so I use this story picture in hopes it will help my listeners feel more ease and comfort with shifting their own physiology
Fear of the tigers
Tigers of the past and fears of the future can make us miserable and take all of our focus away from the goodness and safety of our daily life. Focusing on the tigers causes us to live in chronic anxiety because of our ANS. Conversely, living in mindfulness, being right here in the present moment is the antidote to that anxiety.
Be present to the present
Mindfulness calms the mind, body and soul. It allows us to see reality more clearly, stripped of the fear based overlays that anxiety puts on our eyes. When we are anxious it is like we are wearing a pair of “danger glasses” and everything we see feels dangerous to us. We want to live in relation to what is actually occurring, not the fears from the past or future.
For more information on Taoism and mindfulness go to www.ibreafoundation.org/ and www.tao.org
Flipping the Coin: How to get our of threat mode!
FLIP THE COIN
To pick up where we left off in the last podcast, ‘what must we do to get out of threat/stress physiology?’ Here are some tools that tune our bodies back into the other side of the “coin,” out of threat physiology, back to calm sense of safety. The podcast will share four tools today. Just for fun and for ease of memorizing, they will all begin with an S.
TOOLS THAT WORK
The 4 tools are; Slow down, Silence, Shift focus and Self-Awareness. Listen to the podcast to learn how these simple tools can help you flip your body and physiology quickly out of Stress and Threat mode.
REST & DIGEST
Using these and many other tools, millions of people have learned how to move from threat physiology back into a sense of grounded safety, our Autonomic Nervous System at rest. Rest and Digest is actually the term used of this state, to denote that the major systems of our body are at rest and we are able to digest our food, liquids and solids. This of course is the opposite of the Fight or Flight system, another term for stress physiology, which stops digestion and puts stress on most of the major systems of the body and impacts, metabolism, respiration, blood flow, heart rate variability, stress hormones, and our muscle/skeletal system as we brace and tense our muscles in preparation for danger.
For more information about REST & DIGEST go to https://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/fight-or-flight-vs-rest-and-digest/
The SCARY side of the coin!
Does life sometimes feel too heavy and overwhelming? Can you relate to the feeling that there is just so much going on you are about to combust with stress? Have you been there, recently?
In today’s podcast we talk about Stress and Threat physiology, a somatic state our bodies go into outside of our conscious awareness and choice. Another words, our bodies go to a scary place and we don’t have any say in the matter.
Coin only has 2 sides
The metaphor of a coin helps explain this phenomena of our ANS. Like a coin, our physiology has two sides or modes and they are mutually exclusive of each other. So when we are stressed and anxious our ANS drops into Stress physiology.
Like you, when my body is in this state of fear and overwhelm, when the heavy dread feels all consuming, like a dense fog taking over a previously sunny day, I am unable to experience all the good that is still in my life, such as friends, love, health, work, clean water, safety, etc.
Listen to the podcast to learn more about Stress physiology and how to feel more in control of your life and body messages. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response
A great article from Harvard Medical school about the power of stress.
The Felt Sense & Anxiety!
THE "FELT SENSE PRAYER"
I am flying solo in today’s podcast as my interviewer and dear Friend Giovana is out of town sailing in the Caribbean! I bet her felt sense is more enjoyable than mine right now.
What is the Felt Sense?
Today’s podcast is about the Felt Sense, a term coined by Eugene Gendlin years ago when studying successful therapy outcomes. He found certain clients were able to connect to and speak from a non-conceptual, bodily felt experience of the issues that troubled them. These clients reached their goals more quickly. The Felt Sense is a non-verbal inner source of knowing the bodily experience and sometimes cannot be put into words.
Helpful Poem to explain this better.
To help make this tricky concept a bit easier to grasp I will read the FELT SENSE prayer today. The author is unknown so I cannot give credit where it is due. But it is so helpful I want to share it with all my listeners.
What does your Felt Sense tell you?
As you listen, try to notice your body responses and if you feel a resonance with this “prayer”. This week I challenge you to really notice your Felt Sense in the different situations in which you find yourself and see how this impacts your choices and also sense of inner safety.
For a short helpful article on the Felt Sense go to:
Love Leaves Tracks!
Sand of my heart
Yesterday at the beach, I saw imprinted in the sand many different bird tracks. Just by looking at the unique shape of each track, I could tell what species of bird left them behind. This visual stimulated some thoughts about how things other than birds can leave tracks in the “sand” of my life. Even “intangibles" like Love and Anxiety, or especially these two.
Tracks of love
When I am deeply loved by another human, it leaves a tangible imprint on my heart and in my life. It helps shape my sense of identity and increases self-love and a sense of safety internally.
Tracks of fear
Unfortunately at times I fail to see the tracks of love in my life, because the tracks fear and anxiety leave seem bigger and more relevant. Anxiety leaves tangible tracks as well as love does. These can include: fear, worry, a self protective stance, doubting my decisions, selfishness, and anger. Because anxiety/fear screams at me internally, it is so easy to only notice the anxiety tracks and move into worry or panic mode.
So listen today to learn more about your life and the tracks that may be imprinted in your heart and body.
Check out this link for a great article about the power of live to impact our lives. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/love-and-relationships_b_4300010
Self Love vs. Anxiety!
Do you LOVE yourself?
Last podcast we talked about feeling gratitude for our humanness. Being grateful that we are not perfect, but messy and beautiful all at once. Today’s podcast ups the ante! We suggest taking a BIG step forward from just plain gratitude into Self Love. Today we talk about loving ourselves!
Do you confuse self-love with selfishness?
For some of you this is a big duh and not an issue at all. But I know there are plenty of you out there that may find this suggestion too challenging or even offensive. Some of us have been programed wrongly and get selfishness and self-love confused. We may have grown up with a narcissist or two and any talk of self-love brings that person to mind.
Self-love is a healthy stance
But self-love is a healthy balanced stance to have in life. Even Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The golden rule is ‘do unto others as you would have them do for you’. So a healthy kind of love is balanced by having love for self and love for others. The Buddhists have specific meditations for increasing our self and other love, a loving kindness meditation and it is very powerful.
Treat yourself like you treat your best friend
Some of us have been brainwashed to only love and care for others so we may have a bit of a harder row to hoe when it comes to self-love. But life is so much better and there is much less anxiety and stress when we treat ourselves like we would treat our best friend, with kindness and respect.
Where do you fall in the spectrum? Do you love self and others, or just self, or just others? Check out today’s podcast for more info.
Here is a great link for a loving kindness meditation. http://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree/loving-kindness