Life in a Body

Helps readers use body language and their body personalities to break through to new levels of performance and productivity.

Stress: It’s Not All in Your Head

Don’t waste too much time “figuring it all out.”

Imagine how your life would change if you had a trusty ally that pointed you in the right direction when making decisions. Imagine how relaxed you’d feel knowing that even difficult decisions no longer involve strenuous mental gymnastics. Your ally would actually give your mind a rest. No more overthinking, no more lying awake trying to figure out your next best move—just you trusting what you know and acting with confidence.

On top of that, how would your life improve if you could lower stress when you choose by stopping self-sabotaging thinking habits when they arise? You might be asking, “Can I do that?”

Yes, you absolutely can.

While most stress management programs are cognitive, trying to figure out our problems and solutions, try a new perspective to taking charge of your stress; through identifying where it lives, stored in your body.

When we create stress by overthinking and holding in what we feel, we enlist our bodies to hold on to that stress for us.  For instance we might want to punch back but instead we hold our anger (and stress) in by tightly squeezing our fists. We might desire to scream out loud but can’t, so we clamp our jaw shut and swallow what we want to yell.  Our urge might be to give someone a resounding no, but say yes while straining our face to smile. Negative thoughts, beliefs and emotions that we detach from mentally, and stored away in our body don’t just go away. They literally become lodged within our body parts and can create STRESS in our lives over and over. Therefore, our stress and our solutions are in our bodies, not just in our minds.

That’s why the best choice you can make when you feel at your wits end, and are over thinking something, whether it’s a decision or a business problem, is to get out of your head as quickly as possible. Start observing your body and find out where you are building tension, observe your breathing, get up and move, wave a hand, open up your arms and chest real wide, shake your tail feather and those stale wires in your brain loose, so you can de-stress and reboot, just like you do when your computer gets stuck.

Scientists say our brains can take cues from our body movements to understand and solve complex problems, so why just get headaches and anxiety trying to figure something out when you can move and shake your stress out and your brain loose too ?

In 2009, University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras, with Vanderbilt University postdoctoral researcher Laura Thomas conducted the first study to show that a person's ability to solve a problem can be influenced by how he or she moves. Their results from testing fifty-two University of Illinois students concluded that body motion can affect higher order thought, the complex thinking needed to solve complicated problems. By directing the participant’s movements they found a substantive affect on their ability to successfully solve demanding insight problems, demonstrating that specific movement interventions can implicitly enhance higher order cognitive processing.

Their findings offer new insight into what researchers call "embodied cognition", which describes the link between body and mind.  Lleras and Thomas reported "People tend to think that their mind lives in their brain, dealing in conceptual abstractions, very much disconnected from the body.

This emerging research is fascinating because it is demonstrating how your body is a part of your mind in a powerful way. The way you think is affected by your body, and in fact, the way you  use your body will help us think.

Studies like this raise the possibility that paying attention to our movements could be instrumental in arriving at insights, enhancing creative thinking, and taking charge of our stress and reducing it on demand!

When we get overwhelmed by stress, trauma and uncomfortable emotions and can’t for any reason, express or resolve those feelings, we enlist our bodies to hold on to them for us.  For instance we might want to punch back but instead we hold our anger in by tightly squeezing our fists. We might desire to scream out loud but can’t, so we clamp our jaw shut and swallow what we want to yell.  Our urge might be to give someone a resounding no, but say yes while straining our face to smile. Negative thoughts, beliefs and emotions that we detached from mentally, and stored away in our body don’t just go away. They literally become lodged within our body parts and can create havoc in our lives.

Therefore, your problems and your solutions are in your body, not just in your mind, so when you get stuck in thinking, listen to your body, move it around and see how your stress reduces and fresh new ideas emerge!

Assess Your Stress and De-Stress Today!

http://wholebodyintelligence.com/bq_assessment

Steve Sisgold is a Body Centered Therapist, the author of What's Your Body Telling You? and a life coach to best selling authors, Grammy winners, Business Leaders and more.

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