Do you know that your stomach nervous system contains more neurons than your whole spinal marrow and that information is continuously exchanged from your stomach ‘second brain’ to your superior functions of your ‘main’ brain?
Do you know that your heart actually sends more signals to your brain than your brain sends to your heart and those heart signals have a significant effect on emotional management and higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving?
Latest medical and neurosciences studies provide new scientific evidence of how our body, mind and feelings work together.
Nothing new, you may say: for centuries, we’ve been commonly saying: ‘Listen to your heart’ to take an important decision ; or ‘It takes guts’ to refer to courage and willpower…
Yes, our body holds wisdom and intelligence since ages… but in Western world, our cartesian mind may had forgotten a bit about it
Sophrology practices aim at restoring or reinforcing the state of balance and harmony between what we feel, what we think and what we do in our everyday life. Here are some examples of how, in my practice, I rely on body wisdom :
Your body has intuitive capacities to restore balance.
Mental or emotional stress means a form of tension in your body. Being aware of those tensions and stress signals in your body is the first step. Having tools to release them is the second to increase your stress management capacities.
Breathing techniques help you shift out of stressful emotional state. Meditation and coherence cardiac techniques as well.
Positive emotions do not only feel so good, they actually help your body’s systems synchronize and work better. You can develop your capacity to self-activate and eventually sustain a positive emotion.
The more you experience a calm, balanced, yet energized and responsive state; the more your body will allow you to perform tasks requiring mental acuity, focus, problem-solving, and decision-making, as well as physical activity and coordination.
Speaking and telling the truth :
Your body language does not lie. It is almost impossible to censor emotions. A large part of your body language is indeed unconscious and not controllable.
So, listening to your body and developing your body awareness are self-development gateways.
To communicate effectively with others, relying on your ability to sense with your whole body what other people are feeling is also an important factor in allowing you to connect. When you are engaged in deep conversation with somebody, your body also participates, synchronizing movements and postures, vocal pitch, speaking rates and length of pauses, and even important aspects of your physiology.
Last but not least, to access more of your intuitive intelligence and inner sense of knowing, one of the most important keys is developing deeper levels of self-awareness of your more subtle feelings and perceptions, which otherwise never rise to conscious awareness.
In sophrology practice, I can use mental imagery in a deep relaxation state to connect with your intuitive intelligence.
And I am always impressed by the powerful impact of this simple practice to visualize the long-searched solution, to let emerge the desired vision or see the situation differently!
Your body holds wisdom, simply listen and trust it !
References : Antonio Damasio (professeur de neurosciences, neurologie, psychologie, philosophie, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of California) - L’ordre étrange des choses.
Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance. An Overview of Research Conducted by the HeartMath Institute.
Harvard Medical School Study of 1,623 heart attack survivors found that when subjects became angry during emotional conflicts, their risk of subsequent heart attacks was more than double that of those who remained calm. Mittleman, M.A., et al., Triggering of acute myocardial infarction onset by episodes of anger. Determinants of Myocardial Infarction Onset Study Investigators. Circulation, 1995. 92(7): p. 1720-5.
Positive emotions are a reliable predictor of better health, even for those without food or shelter while negative emotions are a reliable predictor of worse health even when basic needs like food, shelter and safety are metPressman, S.D., M.W. Gallagher, and S.J. Lopez, Is the emotion-health connection a "first-world problem"? Psychol Sci, 2013. 24(4): p. 544-9.