We live in a time where we are more connected with the world around us than ever before. Technology has transformed the world into a global society. With this, we now have millions of things that keep us occupied and away from the person we should have been connected with the most – ourselves.
To be honest, when was the last time you sat down with yourself and tuned in to actually find out how you were feeling at that moment?
Now we get it. It is extremely challenging and exhausting to find time to connect with ourselves when we are constantly stressed about work or academics, doom-scrolling through our social media accounts to dissociate from the stress of divisive politics and climate change.
Additionally, we are so overwhelmed with the ideas of what we should feel about our body or how it should look, leading to even severed ties between us and our physical selves.
If you have felt similarly, too, embodiment in psychology might just be the right tool for you to reconnect with yourself.
Embodiment in psychology refers to the idea that the mind and body are interconnected entities. It means that our physical and mental selves deeply impact each other.
In this post, we are going to explore the idea of embodiment in psychology deeper and chalk out ways to practice embodiment for you in regular life.
What Is Embodiment In Psychology?
While the term embodiment is broadly used in psychology, it is basically defined as the tangible form of a feeling or idea. So, for instance, “you are the embodiment of hope” means the personification of hope through a person.
Embodiment in modern psychology has taken a slightly different meaning. It is the process of being present with your body. It means accepting your body not just as something you were born with but as something you are. It is acknowledging the connection between our minds and bodies and integrating them to heal emotionally and physically.
Embodiment practices are commonly used by therapists to help patients deal with traumatic experiences and stress. These practices stress the importance of physical awareness as the central focus for emotional recovery and growth.
Embodiment is not a one-off activity. It is a process of building a relationship with your body and accepting what you physically sense and feel. It involves multiple forms of mind-body experiences (think of dance, yoga, and other forms of movement) to understand how your body feels and reacts in different situations.
Apart from helping recovery from stress, trauma, and anxiety, embodiment practices can also help one develop greater self-awareness and better body image. By increasing self-awareness, they also help build emotional resilience and regulation skills.
How To Practice Embodiment?
1. Get curious about your physical self.
Some of us are aware of our bodies, while others need help understanding them. Therefore the first step to beginning embodiment practices is to develop curiosity about your body. Ask yourself questions about your body without inherent judgment or bias.
To begin with, you can ask questions like:
- What does it feel like to be in your body at this moment?
- How do you feel about your body personally?
- What sensations can you feel in your body?
- Are there any body parts that you cannot feel?
2. Explore the connection between your mind and body.
In the next step, try to explore the mind-body connection using your present experiences. Think of how you have been feeling lately. Are your stressed, overwhelmed, or relaxed? Does your physical self mirror these experiences? Try to understand where the stress and anxiety are arising from and how it is affecting your body. These will give you more information about your stressors that you can use to actively avoid them in the future.
3. Find ways to release your stress and tension.
There are multiple ways to release your pent-up stress and tension. You can try:
- tai chi,
- somatic body movements like shaking, and
- spending time with your loved ones.
4. Try mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a potent way to reconnect with your body and mind. And the best part is you can practice them anytime, anywhere. Meditation can be a good place to begin. Try meditating for two to five minutes daily. In the beginning, just try to focus on your breath. Then, slowly, you can increase the time limit as and when you feel comfortable.
Embodiment in psychology is the process of working with your body and mind to deal with stressors and traumatic life experiences. This way, you can become more aware of your physical and mental self and develop better emotional regulation skills.
Apart from your embodiment, there are multiple useful concepts in psychology to improve your well-being. One such concept is sublimation. To read more about it, click here.
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