Befriending your body
For most of my life, I was extremely dissociated - but I had no idea.
It kept me safe during childhood, but as an adult I was stuck in this state, and it was robbing me of experiences I longed for.
Dissociation has many manifestations; mine was from my body and emotions.
In my early twenties, I had no idea that I was that dissociated. Looking back now, I see evidence of my dissociation everywhere. But back then, no one told me about the concept of being dissociated from my body; and because I was dissociated at the time, I couldn’t feel it, either. Because my trauma was developmental, I had never felt the difference - I just didn’t know how it feels to not be dissociated.
My therapy at that time helped me understand some things, but healing does not happen through knowledge itself. We cannot think our way into healing from trauma, into integrating the parts of ourselves that we have closed off. We cannot learn emotional regulation without being in our body and feeling ourselves.
This is why befriending and connecting to your body is foundational to healing and becoming your authentic self.
Befriending your body as someone who struggles with (C)PTSD is the fundamental step to start healing.
When you befriend your body, the wisdom of your organism & natural ability to heal will guide you through the process of restoring your inner sense of ease and peace.
Not being fully in my body for most of my life, I had to relearn its voice, its language. Doing so connected me to the wisdom of my body - a valuable source of inner guidance and healing.
How do we begin to connect to our body?
Connecting to your body can feel difficult in the beginning. You might not even know what connecting to the body means because you don’t know how that connection feels. The goal is to rediscover and rebuild that connection. When you start you need to just try it out, even if you don’t exactly know what you are looking for.As you do that you will get a sense for it until the concept of connection to the body feels familiar and starts to make sense.
Tune in to your basic physical needs
When we don’t know how the voice of our body sounds and communicates, listening to your physical needs is a great way to start building that connection.
Feel your body in a different way as you move it. Yoga, dancing, and intuitive movement can help you find this connection.
Spending time in nature
Being in nature is a way to feel more connected to nature itself and also to you. You can try to go for long walk or meditate in nature, whatever feels right to you. It also calm your nervous system.
Our breathing and nervous system are connected. Deep belly breathing calms you down and connects you to your body. You can start practicing this 5 minutes a day.
Discover on where/how things feel
Do this while walking, or sit/lie somewhere comfortable and feel the sensations in your body.
Spend time with safe people
Feeling safe enables your body to go into a state of connection. Experiencing that connection to other people is deep medicine in healing from dissociation.
Dissociation takes time to heal from. Be patient with yourself. <3