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Embracing yourself Through Somatic Experiencing: A Guide to Reconnecting with Your Body

Actualizado: 19 ene

Discover some practical tips on somatic experiencing for reconnecting with your body, embracing yourself, and working towards regulation and achieving your inner peace. Let’s embark together on a journey of self-discovery (very important: at your own pace) and emotional healing!


Hello, wonderful ACT-ies! Today, we are going to explore the transformative power of the body through somatic experiencing. This journey is not really just about practices; it’s actually a way of life… that implies a pathway to self-discovery, emotional healing, and learning how to re-connect with our bodies in natural, and organic ways. Ready to take the first step on this adventure? Sure! Let’s begin!


What is Somatic Experiencing?


Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a therapeutic approach emphasizing physical awareness to achieve emotional and psychological healing and wellbeing. Developed by the great Dr. Peter Levine, it’s rooted in the understanding that trauma and stress experienced in our lives can be stored in our bodies, and SE helps to make room for them, integrate those difficult experiences through the felt sense, and release these tensions.


Why Somatic Experiencing?


Our bodies hold wisdom, stories, memories and emotions that sometimes our minds can’t process on its own. Through SE, in a veeery slowly way (we don’t support catarsis! Why? Wait for a a next article :) ) we can help release those stored emotions, reduce stress, and promote an ongoing overall well-being by learning to tune into our bodily sensations, in what the somatic world calls ”the felt sense”.


Practical Tips for Starting your Somatic Experiencing Journey and developing your felt sense:


1. Starting with Awareness: Begin by noticing your body and your limits around it. Feel the chair beneath you, and how it feels to be hold by it… the sensations in your soles of the feet in the floor, noticing the ground -allow yourself to pause and notice that for a moment, and see what happens inside you, as you do that. And finally, the rhythm of your breath. Feel free to stay for as long as you want in any part of the noticing… and also going back and forth into the different areas of your body. How is that going? Notice as well, how your body sensations evolve as they feel seen/noticed by you… and if there is any kind of shift happening, as you do that.

This awareness familiarity, doing it a your own pace, and for as long as is comfortable for you, it is the first step towards getting to know your sensations and re-connecting with your body. Think of it as a in your gym plan, the first day we don’t (or shouldn’t!) aim for our final goal. It is a matter of an ongoing progression, as we get fit and our muscles ability grows… we evolve our practices.


2. Engaging in some Shaking in the morning (o whenever feels right for you): Shaking is a natural way to activate yourself & release tension and stress stored in our bodies. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and simply start shaking your body. You can start from your feet, legs, hips, arms, hands and gradually move up to your head. Imagine shaking off stress and worries, letting them fall away.  I do this myself in my sessions together with clients. They can confirm it! It usually feels weird at first… you may laugh or even feel a bit embarrassed, and that’s all ok! You are not alone in that :) Allow yourself to feel the shifts that happen inside you, and notice your body sensations as you do the shaking. As the shaking comes to an end … allow your shaking to decelerate slowly, as it feels natural for you… and notice how your body feels now. Any difference? Your breath. Any difference? Look around you. Any difference? Friendly remember, we are not looking for noticing something in particular, we are now “only” in our process to develop our somatic awareness skills: our noticing skills!

Feeling playful? Choose your favorite rock & roll tune for this if you want! Feel free to feel explorer, and goofy. There is really no wrong way to do it :)

3. Practicing Orientation: Along your day, take a few minutes to orient yourself to your surroundings. It is very easy. It can be done, literally, anywhere… at home, in the metro, in the supermarket, as you go to work. Look around -and move if you can/want, slowly, noticing the sounds, colors, smells, shapes, and textures of what is surrounding you. Take your time to explore it with curiosity… and see how it feels, what happens inside you as you do that. This is a super powerful practice that allows you to immediately regulate your nervous system grounded in the present moment, and fosters a deeper and more open connection with your environment. It is sooo powerful that in the future we will also do a whole post of it!

4. Journaling Your experience: After each intentional somatic moment, I invite you to take a moment to connect to the experience of what happened… and write down what you noticed and experienced. What did you feel? What body sensations came up? Journaling about the felt sense and your experiences, will help you to land and create space for this “noticing” that we are generally not very used to do in our daily lives, and allows you a way to get to know yourself and your body, by processing and understand your daily somatic experiences.

5. Seeking Professional Guidance: For beginners, working with a trained somatic therapist can be of an invaluable support. We can provide for you a safe and effective guidance through this exciting and many times unknown and challenging, body awareness process.


Conclusion

Somatic experiencing is, as I said at the beginning, a way of living. An ongoing journey of reconnecting with yourself, listening to your body’s stories, and learning to respond with acceptance and judgement free. I know, I know… it easier said than done. That’ is why this is about slowly, and at your own pace, developing and training your noticing skills. A little, goes a long way. And as you integrate these practices in your daily life, it will allow you to easily be more and more present, and open to the experiences of your own life. You will be able to really savour what matters for you in every moment. Let me invite you and encourage you to start this journey of ACT-ing for your life… and also let me tell you as well that, I am here for you.


Have you tried somatic experiencing? Share your experiences in the comments. Let’s build a supportive community together!



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