Week 9: Feeling Sensations

Have you considered that emotions are experienced physically in the body? We tend to think of our emotional responses as deeply connected to our mental activity, and they are. But, if you check in with your body when you’re having a strong emotion, whether joy, sadness, anger, or any other feeling, you may notice body sensations you can identify as being emotional in nature. Give this a try, to heighten your mindfulness skills.

Feeling Sensations Practice

Find awareness of your breath. Total awareness in your breathing. Notice the inhale. Notice the exhale. Begin to feel the belly expand with each inhale. Feel the belly contract with each exhale. Feel the breath coming in through the nostrils and filling the lungs. Feel the breath exiting through the nostrils as the lungs deflate.

Relax the breath.
Find a feeling of heaviness in the body. Feel the heaviness. Feel each part of your body, from the toes to the top of the head become heavy. You are so heavy that you sink into the floor. Find that awareness. Feel the heaviness.

Now become aware of the lightness in the body. Awaken that lightness in each part of the body, from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. Every part of the body is light and weightless. The body becomes so light that it might float off the floor. Be aware of this lightness. Feel this lightness.

Now find the feeling of being cold. Find that sensation of being chilled to the bone. Imagine facing the icy wind of winter head-on. Imagine walking barefoot on a slab of ice. Your feet are cold. Your bones are cold. Your body is cold. Be aware of that feeling of coldness. Feel the cold.

Now turn to the feeling of heat. Find that experience of heat all over the body. Imagine a hot, humid day, no wind, the sun beating on your skin. Imagine sitting in a sauna, warm steam rising and filling the air with heat. Be hot. Feel the heat. Be aware of the heat.

Now move into the experience of pain. Concentrate on the feeling of pain, emotional pain. Physical pain. Become aware of that pain. Sit with this feeling of pain.Now bring in the feeling of pleasure. Completely submerge yourself in pleasure. Relive any past experience of pleasure, either physical or mental. Be in that moment. Feel the pleasure. Be aware of that pleasure.

Now come back to your breath.

Notice the calmness of your breath, the evenness of your breath. The inhale. The exhale.

Open your eyes.

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