What does it mean to get in your body?

What Does “Get In Your Body” Mean?

What Does “Get In Your Body” Mean?

Have you ever felt intense emotions welling up inside you, seemingly out of nowhere? Or had bodily sensations and pain that defied easy explanation? According to the latest research, your body may be keeping score – storing away traumatic memories and difficult experiences at a cellular level, whether your conscious mind remembers them or not. In order to experience true somatic healing from betrayal trauma and other forms of trauma, you must get into your body, listen to its wisdom, and accept that healing can come from within.

The Body Keeps the Score

Emotions are often perceived as abstract mental constructs, arising from the intricate workings of our brains. However, this understanding neglects the profound role that our bodies play in the processing and storage of emotional experiences. In fact, our bodies serve as repositories for emotional data and trauma, particularly in the ancient and primitive regions of the brain stem and nervous system, which evolved primarily for survival.

The concept of somatic processing underscores the idea that emotions are not solely processed cognitively; rather, they are experienced through bodily sensations. This means that even before our higher-order thinking and language centers engage, our bodies are already responding to emotional stimuli. These responses are deeply ingrained survival mechanisms, honed over millennia of evolution to detect and react to potential threats or traumas.

Consider the sensation of feeling emotionally activated before being able to articulate what is happening. This phenomenon is a direct result of the body’s swift response to perceived danger or distress. Before conscious thought can intervene, physiological manifestations such as muscle tension, shakiness, or restricted breathing may already be underway. These bodily reactions represent the body’s instinctual attempt to prepare for or mitigate perceived threats.

This primal survival mechanism served our ancestors well in navigating dangerous environments. However, in contemporary society, where physical threats are often less immediate but psychological stressors abound, the persistence of unprocessed emotional experiences can lead to detrimental effects. When emotions remain unacknowledged or unaddressed, they have a tendency to become trapped within the body, manifesting as chronic tension, psychosomatic symptoms, or even contributing to mental health disorders.

Recognizing the intricate interplay between emotions and the body underscores the importance of holistic approaches to emotional well-being. Practices such as mindfulness, somatic therapy, and body-focused psychotherapy aim to bridge the gap between mind and body, facilitating the release and integration of stored emotional experiences.

Limits of Intellectualizing 

While traditional talk therapy focuses primarily on cognitive understanding and verbal expression of emotions, somatic healing recognizes the intrinsic connection between mind and body and emphasizes the need to engage with emotions on a visceral, somatic level.

Betrayal trauma, characterized by feelings of shock, disbelief, and profound emotional pain resulting from betrayal by a trusted individual or institution, often leaves deep-seated emotional imprints within the body. These imprints manifest as physiological sensations, such as tightness in the chest, knots in the stomach, or a sense of heaviness. Merely discussing the betrayal intellectually may not be sufficient to access and process these somatic manifestations of trauma.

Moving beyond cognitive understanding to embrace a somatic experience of emotions underscores the necessity of engaging with the body’s wisdom in the healing process. While verbalizing emotions can provide a sense of validation and insight, true healing requires individuals to drop into the felt sensations of their emotions within the body. This involves cultivating awareness of bodily sensations and allowing oneself to fully experience and express emotions as they manifest somatically.

Somatic healing approaches, such as somatic experiencing or body-focused psychotherapy, provide techniques and practices to facilitate this process. Through mindfulness, breathwork, gentle movement, and body awareness exercises, individuals are guided to reconnect with the physical sensations associated with their emotions. By bringing attention to these sensations, individuals can begin to unravel the layers of stored emotional energy and release the somatic imprints of betrayal trauma.

Furthermore, somatic healing acknowledges that emotional memories are not solely stored in the cognitive realm but are deeply embedded within the body’s cellular memory. Therefore, intellectual understanding alone may not suffice to resolve unresolved emotional energies. By embracing a somatic approach to healing, individuals can access the depths of their emotional experiences and initiate the journey towards integration and wholeness.

Honoring Your Body’s Pace

The body, often unconsciously guarded against dropping into stored traumas, requires a profound sense of safety—both inner and outer—before it can embark on the path of healing. Cultivating a felt-sense of safety is paramount, as it creates a nurturing environment in which the body feels supported and empowered to explore its deepest layers of emotional experience.

Having supportive individuals who can attune to your bodily states and regulate your nervous system through resonance plays a pivotal role in this process. These individuals, whether therapists, relationship coaches, loved ones, or trusted companions, offer a compassionate presence that mirrors and validates your emotional experiences. Through their attuned presence, they provide a sense of safety and containment, allowing the body to gradually release its protective armor and begin to unravel the layers of stored trauma.

Central to somatic healing is the acknowledgment and honoring of your body’s inner timeline. Just as each individual’s journey through trauma is unique, so too is the pace at which the body is ready to confront and process these experiences. There is no forcing the body to confront its traumas prematurely; rather, true healing emerges from building somatic awareness with patience, choice, and a profound sense of empowerment over the process.

As you cultivate a deeper mind-body connection, you may find that long-buried emotions and traumatic memories begin to surface for release and resolution. This emergence can evoke a wide range of sensations and emotions, and it is natural to feel overwhelmed at times. However, it is essential to recognize that this process is the body’s innate wisdom at work, guiding you toward restoring equilibrium and reclaiming your sense of wholeness.

In navigating the terrain of somatic healing, it is crucial to approach the journey with gentleness, compassion, and self-compassion. By honoring the body’s innate intelligence and fostering a supportive environment of safety and attunement, you can embark on a profound voyage of self-discovery and healing, reclaiming the vitality and resilience that reside within you.

The Profound Rewards

Engaging in somatic healing demands courage and dedication, as it involves delving into the depths of our embodied experiences, including the stored traumas and tensions that reside within. Yet, amidst the arduousness of this journey, lies the promise of profound freedom and liberation. As we learn to listen attentively to our body’s subtle signals and honor its innate wisdom, we begin to unravel the layers of accumulated stress and unprocessed emotions. Through practices such as mindfulness, breathwork, and somatic awareness, we create space for the release of trapped energy, allowing it to flow freely once more. 

The transformation that emerges from somatic work is not merely a restoration of equilibrium, but a rediscovery of our inherent vitality and authenticity. As we dismantle the barriers that hinder the free expression of our true selves, we reclaim agency over our lives and cultivate a deeper sense of embodiment. By embracing the wisdom of the body and honoring its innate intelligence, we align with the natural rhythms of life and reconnect with the essence of who we are. In this state of profound freedom, we no longer carry the burdens of the past, but instead, move forward with a renewed sense of vitality, resilience, and openness to the richness of lived experience.

Choose Recovery Services Can Help

At Choose Recovery Services, our team of relationship coaches specializes in guiding individuals on the transformative journey of somatic healing, particularly in the context of betrayal trauma. With a deep understanding of the intricate interplay between mind and body, our coaches empower clients to harness the wisdom of their bodies as a catalyst for healing and growth. Through compassionate support and evidence-based techniques, we assist individuals in cultivating somatic awareness, allowing them to recognize and address the physical manifestations of past traumas. 

Our relationship coaches provide a safe and nurturing space for clients to explore their embodied experiences, facilitating the release of stored emotional energy and fostering a sense of empowerment over their healing process. By integrating somatic principles into our coaching approach, we empower individuals to reclaim their vitality, restore balance, and cultivate deeper connections with themselves and others. Contact us today to begin your journey of healing and wholeness. 

Learn more about this topic and many others by tuning in to the Choose To Be podcast.

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