When you're stressed, your body is a source of data: The Power of Somatic Mindfulness to Build Resilience

Stressed? Your body is a source of data: The Power of Somatic Mindfulness

The world around us impacts our mind, both on a conscious and unconscious level. What we are not aware of, can rule us. Automatic body and behavioural responses occur in many situations, but especially when we find ourselves under stress. It’s easy to get lost in the constant stream of negative media and daily deluge of pandemic news. When you’re stressed, your body is a source of data. We examine the power of somatic mindfulness to build resilience

The word somatic is derived from the Greek, “soma” meaning living body. Research into somatic psychology and neuroscience confirms that the mind and the body are interconnected. Studies have demonstrated that the mind influences the body and the body influences the mind. When we begin to develop somatic mindfulness, we start to integrate the mind and the body, becoming aware of what’s really driving us.

Our psychology, neurology and biology are intertwined. Somatic mindfulness is the art of stepping away from what our nervous system is saying in order to examine it. By taking a step back, our somatic response is transformed into data, a source of information that we can use to make more informed, more effective decisions. Our body then becomes a powerful and invaluable resource to build and sustain resilience.

Somatic Mindfulness & Resilience

When we’re fully embodied in the present moment, we can soften the 3 Fs, of fight, flight or freeze. Softening that response, enables us to dial down the hyper-vigilent threat response that often accompanies anxiety and stress. This is critical when it comes to understanding our stress response and building resilience. Developing awareness of our habitual, previously hidden responses improves the clarity of our thinking, allowing us to make different choices.

We merge our understanding and experience in the field of sustainable performance with somatic coaching in our sessions. When we work in the space between our inner and outer worlds we get powerful results. Attending to the body’s rhythm and energy, mapping the somatic curve of transformation enables us to design strategies to release blocks and build resilience.

Developing Somatic mindfulness to increase resilience

Developing somatic mindfulness allows us to “catch” those automatic, knee jerk responses before they have the opportunity to take hold and hijack our response. The body acts as an early warning system. By working with it we can more effectively assess the situation, creating active emotional control. Recognising how our sensory perceptions and emotional responses contribute to patterns of behaviour increases our awareness. It gives us the choice of responding effectively rather than reacting without thinking.

Somatic exercises to build resilience

If you want to break old habits, shift the way that you are or the way that you feel, then incorporating somatic mindfulness can be invaluable. How?

  1. Take a minute to simply be in the moment
  2. Notice physical sensations in the body
  3. Do you notice where your feelings sit in your body? Are you able to name those feelings as you locate them?
  4. When you move away from that space, what do you notice? Are you able to name it?
  5. See if it’s possible to notice your reflexive habits 
  6. Ask, is this a real threat or an exaggerated, imagined threat?
  7. What practices can you do daily to increase your body awareness?

Want to know more about building resilience? Take a look at our free resilience toolkit along with our other free resources. Koru offer individual and business resilience coaching and resilience and stress management training. Our expertise in sustainable performance means that we can work with you to help you achieve effective, sustainable change. Get in touch with us to discover more.

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