Emotional wellbeing is not only looking at the thoughts we offer ourselves but acknowledging and growing aspects of our vitality. In therapy we may refer to it as someone’s internal resourcing. Below are some ways that we can tap into our inner song and build our chorus.
When reflecting on activities that you think are resourcing, you might be inclined to think about big activities outside your home. In reality, we typically already engage in smaller moments that are closer to home.
You can ask yourself
- What’s an activity where I feel absorbed in the moment?
- What grabs my attention?
- What provides me with a sense of contentment?
- What sparks my imagination?
- What gives me satisfaction?
When you think of your activity what do you notice happens in your body? Your breath? Your thoughts? Tense muscle points or flutters in your stomach? We are looking to acknowledge something that ignites your senses, something that you feel enthusiastic about when talking or thinking about it, that captivates you even if only for a brief moment in time, and it might even give you a sense of satisfaction.
Now with the activity in mind, notice your breathing rate and depth, and as you recall the activity notice each part of the event. When do you choose to engage in the activity? What do you prepare? What is it that you feel or notice when you are there? When is it time to pack up or finish? How long does the feeling of the activity stay with you after you have stopped?
Could this be a reference point that you can return to when you feel agitated or anxious? Or is it something that you can daydream of finding some soothing during your day to day existence? Our minds have an amazing imagination which we can reference whenever we want. Perhaps you just need a reminder to think about your activity, the one that ignites your own personal vitality, and is part of your inner chorus.
In our day to day world, we have so much that we have to block and assume or we would be in a state of emotional and cognitive overwhelm. We can be choiceful in what we notice connects with our body. We might not pay attention to every item of our clothing but as our environment shifts, we notice change. As we leave our homes we might brace against the wind or shelter our eyes from the bright sun. Now we have come into the present moment.
Are you reading this standing, sitting or lying down? Perhaps you are on the move, sitting on a train? However you are positioned, bring some awareness to your relationship with your environment. Are you inside or outside? What is the temperature? Is there a cool breeze on your skin or warmth from the sun? What do you hear? What type of surface are you standing on or in contact with if you are sitting down? Notice the texture, temperature, sound, air movement and feel the support of the ground growing up through your feet or the support of furniture whilst reclining.
These little moments of awareness all bring us into the present. We can take a check of our surroundings for safety but also lean into the contacts that provide support. As we think about these things we can start to work out our connection points between the environment and our body. The next step is below your skin and inner movement. Now let’s consider your breathing.
Mind, body and breathing connection
We’ve all heard of mindfulness but have you thought of just noticing your breath as it is? We don’t need to change or modify anything, we are just developing a curiosity of what’s happening. As you take your next breath, notice how your belly moves, your chest rises and falls, the movement in your shoulders and what happens in your face. Can you feel the air move in and out of your body? Again, consider the temperature and the smells, but also the feeling of the air as it passes through your nostrils or mouth and fills your chest. Then place a hand on your belly.
As you inhale and exhale what movement in your body do you notice? Can you focus on the movement or is it challenging to stay with it? Would it be ok to put aside your thoughts of other situations just for a minute?
Bringing awareness to your body can bring up emotions that may only feel possible in short time fractions. That’s okay. We are not looking for anything that is right or wrong, only a gentle noticing and curiosity of what is.
Without all the noises of the world, we can find what has been rumbling around in our nervous system. Small moments of quiet attunement and a softness for what we are holding in our body. Each experience is that of us being in connection with our environment and how we have made sense of what has brought us here.