What is it and how can it help?


A quick breathing exercise. Try this now:

Try it now. Check in with your body. What posture are you hold- ing? What position is your spine in? Is it slumped, or twisting to the side? Imagine straightening it a little bit, and actually let your spine move to where it wants to. Then notice your stomach: are you holding it in? Let it go, let it flop out. Adjust yourself if you notice any twists or tenseness anywhere else. Take a big breath in and let it flop out like a big sigh. Now, do a scan to see what sensations you notice. Is there a tingly feeling, or any niggles or pains anywhere? Just notice them and see what happens as you observe them, with curiosity and without judgement.

Take a breath in and slowly breathe out, trying to make that out- breath last for a count of six. Do this again, then once more, and now take a big breath in and let it flop out like a big sigh.


We have just practised noticing what was happening in our bodies and aimed to observe without judgement. Now I’d like to ask you to notice your bodily sensations the next time you notice an emotion. I’m going to call this emotion-focused interoceptive awareness, because it involves noticing this felt sense as part of your emotional state. Whether you are feeling angry, frustrated, worried, tired, sad or disgusted, try to turn your attention to what your body is actually doing, inside and out. It can be hard. I know, because I’ve trained myself to do this and it took me a while. Either I didn’t notice anything or I was taken over by an emotion and forgot what to do. It takes practice to develop a new pattern, but we can do this.

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