Body Awareness Can Increase Your EQ
Our body is our instrument of awareness. Much of western philosophy has separated out and elevated mind from body. Until recently, science has promoted our brains as the center of our consciousness. Did you know that you have over 100 billion neurons in your gut? In addition to neurons, there are many neuropeptides throughout your body, creating a network of multi-directional communication. Unfortunately, we often disregard, criticize, and beat our bodies into shape or wish they were different. Beauty ideals cause us to compare our bodies negatively. We get caught up with our computers and devices and ignore the signals our bodies send us. Our emphasis on technology has disconnected us from our bodies and our environment. In the book iDisorder, it says that as a society, we are displaying more symptoms that are typically associated with mental issues like ADD and obsessive compulsive disorder.
I just finished reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. In it he notes how often victims of crime fail to heed the fear signals their body is sending them, signals which may have prevented them from becoming a victim. Being more aware in our body can vastly improve our ability to navigate through life. If you have a dog or cat, watch how in tune they are with their environment through their bodies. They are often aware of many things before we are.
My awareness practice is all about being present with the sensations my body is experiencing. When I meditate, I open my awareness to all the sounds, feelings, and smells that are present in the now. I often close my eyes, as my eyes are my dominant sense and can distract me from the awareness I am seeking. Closing my eyes also allows me to drop into inner awareness and inner vision. The meditation breaks the relentless habitual thinking patterns and inner chatter I tend to get stuck in. It is simply amazing how much there is to notice in one moment. I use my body for that awareness.
In addition, I am developing more awareness of my emotional body. I have found that being aware of how my emotions show up in my body helps me to move through them more fluidly. It trains me to become more skillful at identifying my emotional state, increasing my emotional intelligence and my ability to communicate with others.
I encourage you to take one step towards body-awareness in this moment. Notice where you might be feeling tension and relax. Breathe in fully, allow your gaze to soften and just be present to what is, right now, in this moment.