Being aware of sensations in our body is a major part of mindfulness yet we all seem to be very disconnected from our bodies. This exercise taught me how to simply be curious of any felt sensations without any intention or consequence.
When we feel different emotions we feel different sensations throughout out body. Sensations we feel when we are angry are different to those we feel when we are content and happy. Often we don’t have words to describe these sensations. The book provided some suggestions of sensations in a word cloud which I have attached below.When we experience these feelings and sensations we may have a sense of judgement associated with them. For example when feeling sad you may experience sensations of numbness, confinement, heaviness. This experience may be associated with a judgement of ‘You are weak for feeling sad’. Be aware of the judgement or thought associated with these feelings and sensations.
The main aim of this exercise is to recognise sensations in the body but to also be aware that these sensations are linked to our thoughts and emotions too. This will help build your self awareness. We may be aware of our thoughts, emotions or sensations at first. Whatever triggers your awareness, zone in on that. Remain curious but do not analyse the experience. Take a step back and observe. Unpack the experience and break it down. Be aware and acknowledge that each experience is made up of many different sensations, thoughts and emotions. This will help you from getting caught up in what is going on.
This is quite hard to do especially in feelings of great pain and anger but the main aim of mindfulness practice is to not analyse the experience but just be aware of it and live in that moment and experience. Practice will enable you to bring this into an automated response.
The book also provided a simple exercise to help guide you: