I’m working through Processing All the Feelings exercise and I’m able to identify triggers and emotions but I’m having trouble identifying the physical sensations. I’m starting to think that I may always be in a heightened/anxious state so many of the physical sensations are always present. I’d love some help or guidance with this exercise, please.
This is such a great question and so common when we first begin the work of self-coaching.
Yes, emotions manifest as physical sensations in our bodies. That’s why we call them feelings. And, what you’re experiencing is completely normal and very common. We are culturally conditioned to dissociate from our bodies and intellectualize everything. This work isn’t intellectual. And it’s super weird at first. That’s okay. Let it be weird. You’ve likely never been taught to feel your feelings before, so you’ve had decades of not doing that. You’re learning a new thing. This disconnection is even more relevant for us women who have dieted their whole life. Part of the dieting process is to disregarded physical sensations in order to deprive our body of food and or over-exercise our body into pain. To be a dieter require a physical disconnection to our body. Over the years of dieting, women become head people. That’s part of the work… reconnecting to our body and learning to listen to it.
We first start with our emotions and then we move on with food. Both requiring to build this physical connection. It’s very possible that you are in a state of anxiety most of the time if your thoughts are anxiety-producing thoughts (aka fear-based thoughts). That’s why learning to apply the self-coaching model is essential so you can start changing the anxiety-producing thoughts to lessen the anxiety your feel in your body. Another contributing factor is awareness. This program is “forcing” you to feel your bodily sensations maybe for the first time so it can be overwhelming for many of us at first. To realize we have so many sensations and emotions is a big AH AH moment for many of us. I would suggest downloading the self-compassion audio and practice the short mindfulness technique when you feel overwhelmed. Maybe even making this practice a daily happening so that instead of managing you prevent it.
You’re exactly where you need to be.