In today’s fast-paced, stressful world, finding moments of peace and tranquility can sometimes be challenging. It’s common to feel emotional unrest and stress as you go about your daily life, but you must uncover a method to help you achieve overall wellness.
This is where somatic therapy emerges. Somatic treatment delves into the connection between your mind and body to find and eliminate what is causing you stress. While traditional talk therapies are fantastic, somatic therapy has become increasingly popular for managing stress and healing trauma.
Stress, anxiety, and trauma can inhibit not only your mental health but also your physical health. For example, anxiety can cause your muscles to become rigid, which could result in pain and discomfort. Thus, you must make your mental wellness a priority. Let’s discuss how practicing somatic therapy can help your mental health daily.
Explaining Somatic Therapy
Somatic therapy is a form of therapy that focuses on understanding the role the body plays in healing. It explores how the connection between your body and mind can promote wellness and healing.
With somatic therapy, you’ll have to pay close attention to what your body is or isn’t saying. Also, the techniques in somatic treatment are designed to heal you cellularly by helping you release the emotions you have trapped inside you, thus relieving stress and anxiety.
Daily Somatic Techniques To Achieve Mental Wellness
There are many techniques and practices in somatic therapy that you can incorporate into your daily life to alleviate stress, anxiety, and trauma. Below are some somatic techniques you can practice.
Somatic Body Awareness
Practicing body awareness is necessary to foster change at the cellular level of your body. It focuses on bodily signals and sensations such as warmth, discomfort, and tightness.
Tuning into these signs and sensations will give you a better understanding of how experiences and emotions manifest in your body. To practice, identify areas in your body that have constriction and tension. Is your neck stiff? Then, you might need to loosen up by stretching your body.
Identifying these physical stressors will help you recognize which feelings can promote calmness in your body. Furthermore, practicing body awareness will allow you to focus on the present and boost your ability to identify and regulate your emotional state.
Somatic Breathwork/Breathing Exercises
The concept behind this technique is that when you focus on your breathing patterns and practice breathing exercises, you’ll achieve emotional healing and stress reduction.
Studies have shown that daily deep breath exercises can reduce stress and anxiety, activate your body’s relaxation response, and lower resting blood pressure.
To practice somatic breathing, find a quiet, comfortable place and sit. Once situated, close your eyes and relax. Take deep breaths through your nose and let your abdomen expand. Then, slowly release the breath through your mouth. Do this for 10 to 20 minutes, allowing each exhale to ground you in the present.
Mindful Movement Exercises
Mindful movement involves performing gentle, deliberate movements with focus. These can include yoga postures or simple stretches. There are ways to incorporate this somatic practice into your daily life.
For example, you can stand up at different intervals during the day and stretch. Take note of the sensations of your body while stretching. By practicing mindful movement, you’ll be able to bring attention to the emotions and sensations your body is going through at that moment. It can also re-energize you and boost your physical and mental health.
Body scanning is a somatic technique that helps you bring attention to different body parts. With body scanning, you can observe and identify your body’s sensations.
By mentally scanning yourself from head to toe, you can notice slight pain, ache or tension. This doesn’t mean you’ll relieve the pain, but you’ll be able to bring attention to it and find ways to manage it. Body scanning aims to connect deeply with your body and help you identify relaxation, tension and discomfort areas.
Words can be constructive when you must express your feelings in certain situations. They can help you process trauma, anxiety, and tension very effectively by allowing the experience to move through you.
For example, if a situation makes you emotional or anxious, you can express yourself using words to describe how you feel at that moment. Words like “I feel a ball lodged in my throat” can help you clarify your emotions and feelings of anxiety. This way, you’ll be able to focus on the feelings in your body rather than the situation.
Grounding exercises help you stay in the present. After a traumatic or uncomfortable event, it’s normal to feel trauma, stress and anxiety. However, grounding exercises remove your focus from the event and bring attention to present moments.
A popular grounding exercise is the 5-4-3-2-1 exercise. To ground yourself, look for five things you can see, like a pattern on a cloth; four things you can feel, such as sensations on your skin; three things you can hear, such as distant traffic or the ticking clock; two things you can smell, like a flower or freshly mowed grass, and one thing you can taste, here you can pop a candy or gum.
This technique will help you keep your focus on the things around you rather than the unpleasant event, promoting your sense of safety and stability.
If you have been under a lot of stress lately or feel overwhelmed due to trauma, don’t hesitate to try somatic therapy. You can work with a therapist or incorporate the somatic techniques listed in this article into your daily routine.
Fitting these techniques into your life doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. The somatic practices are simple yet powerful enough to boost your overall wellness by fostering a deeper connection between your mind and body.
Furthermore, the beauty of somatic practices is their adaptability, so tailor each technique according to your preference. As you adopt these practices into your daily life, you’ll find it easier to cultivate inner peace and navigate life’s challenges.