Feelings engage the body for action

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Activating the body for action, feelings are part of a drive to move you. It includes chemical and physical changes needed for your body to act. In fact a lot of the sensations associated with emotions are the symptoms of these changes.

Take for instance your heart beating faster. Triggered by the chemicals released , the purpose is to increase the blood being pumped to your arms and legs, enabling you to act. To use your legs to move towards or away from something. To help you to pull something closer or push it away.

Along with this blood, your body sends oxygen as well as other nurtients and chemicals to 'power' you up, and your muscles then ready themselves for action.

What happens though when the blood is pumping, and your muscles are poised for action but there is nowhere for you to run, nothing for you to push away, grab hold of or defend against? What happens when you have all this energy flowing through your body?

Prepared for action, without the ability to act (and often without the actual need to act) is one of modern societies many challenges, and one of the reasons why emotions are so taxing on your body. It is one of the ways of understanding the sensations associated with for instance stress, with it's tense, sore muscles. And what about the racing heart so frequently experienced in anxiety?

But this is not just about understanding what you are 'feeling' when you feel. Instead it also helps you to be more mindful of feelings and more able to regulate the intensity by modifying the 'symptoms' such as rapid or trapped breathing.

Think of it all as a conversation between your body and your mind, your body and your emotional awareness (or your heart), your heart and your head. The goal is to become consciously involved in the conversation, intentionally interpreting and influencing the message.

The result is being able to work with and change your experience.

Body language is not just about the message your body sends to others, but also the message your body sends to itself, and body awareness is about listening intentionally to these signals so that you can understand and adapt the message.

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