If you are often overwhelmed with thoughts, sensations or emotions, or feel like life is rushing at you, you might be a highly sensitive person (HSP). If that is the case, developing your embodiment (also called interoception) can help you stay calm and relaxed no matter how high your sensitivity level.
What is interoception? Interoception is a lesser-known sense that helps you understand and feel what’s going on inside your body.
Practicing interoception builds your ability to stay calm and grounded. It offers you a feeling of having time so you can slow down and feel life at a speed that is comfortable for you. Interoception can help you read and respond to incoming experience and information. Interoception has been shown to increase focus and enhance the ability to process emotion. You can gain more internal bandwidth to meet stress without getting reactive, confused or triggered. You can pause, reflect and respond more easily.
So, how can you build this interoception?
Developing interoception involves experiencing our animal selves. Animals never think about who they are or what they want to become. They just experience life. You can do this and it is not a mental act – it’s just feeling into your body.. It’s judgement -free and it liberates natural rhythm.
By engaging pleasant movements you start to receive information from your body in a “bottom up ” way. This bypasses the emotional arousal or cognitive confusion that arises from your brain. You develop ways of moving and being in your body that aren’t stressful or “too much.”
Wide-mindedness or open focus refers to letting the thinking mind take a break. As you relax into your experience this becomes natural.
The more we feel stressed the more we try to figure out what’s happening and why. As the thinking mind rests, focus widens. You perceive more deeply and clearly and without triggering the limbic system or alarming yourself. You get to keep the depth and breadth of perception that your sensitivity confers without the worry, “ickiness” or emotional storms.
When you are at home in your body it becomes much easier to pinpoint the source of pain, anxiety or bad feelings. Pinpointing them allows you to clearly cognitively assess situations and beliefs so you have more control and less reaction. You have more understanding of what is happening in your life. The bonus is that the very same skills that help you live more easily as a sensitive person also calm pain, injury and bad movement habits.
Are you interested in building your interoception? Join me for a three week Zoom class.