Exercises that support working through emotions
Various exercises, like meditation, a body scan, and Taichi, can help you concentrate, slow down, and have your attention inside your body.
In order to work through emotions, it is useful to:
- Slow down, as this helps you to start noticing the things you would normally tend to skip over
- Have your attention inside your body, rather than outside, as this helps you to notice more of yourself
- Concentrate, as it is so easy to get distracted from noticing your feelings
There exist lots of exercises that can be of help. Some good ones are meditation, the body scan, and Taichi.
Meditation helps to train concentration, and to not get lost in thoughts and daydreams.
You just sit and focus on your breath, or on your belly. When you notice that your attention has drifted away, you could, for example, find yourself thinking about something, you gently return your focus to the concentration point. Getting distracted is normal, and to be expected, so don't judge yourself for drifting away. Just return your focus, when you notice it.
A body scan is a good exercise to get to know the feelings in your body, and to train having your attention in your body.
Basically, you go with your attention through all parts of your body, and stay at each part, sensing what's there. This exercise would take 5 - 10 minutes, for most people.
You could start with your feet, feeling the toes, bones, warmth and cold, numbness, etc. Then move to your ankles, then lower legs, upper legs. Move to your hands, lower and upper arms, and you shoulders.
There are more feelings and sensations in your torso and head. When you feel like it, you can continue in these parts of your body, after you've sensed your arms and legs.
Taichi is a Chinese martial art, that is usually done for health and meditation. It is usually performed in a slow and concentrated way. It feels meditative to many practitioners, to do the Taichi form. The slowness helps the slowing down that is needed to sense and feel more, and to concentrate on feelings that are initially vague and elusive. The concentration on the body helps to develop sensing the body.