Thoughts, Emotions and Physical Body
When I first started to feel high levels of anxiety and experience panic attacks, many years ago, I learned how, and became aware of my thinking and thoughts which were affecting my emotions and feelings. I became aware of how thoughts, which often ‘run’ automatically, would appear, seemingly from out of nowhere and induce a corresponding ‘feeling’ state.
However, it hasn’t been until recently, I have ‘tuned into’ how my body reacts to my thoughts and emotions.
Over the years, I have ‘tried’ relaxation and meditation techniques, but I never seemed to come away with anything of therapeutic value, or anything which would reduce the feelings of anxiety in the long term.
Recently, I have decided to go back to relaxation and meditation ‘exercises’, or at least combining a tailor made method. I have been conscious of monitoring my bodily reactions to thoughts, during every day relaxation/meditation practices, as and when they arise. I have been practicing for about four weeks now and am becoming more and more aware of my thoughts affecting my emotions and the resulting bodily reactions, whether pleasant or unpleasant.
To become aware of bodily reactions (ie: heartbeat, breathing, tension, relaxed state, etc.) has been invaluable to me, as with this awareness, I can pick up cues from my body to highlight thought patterns, which may or may not be in conscious awareness at that moment.
I think people, prior to developing anxiety conditions, may either be out of touch with what their body is trying to tell them, or choose to ignore what their body is trying to tell them. I think, due to ignoring or being unaware of the body’s reactions, anxiety increases (or the body ‘shouts’ louder), until the individual has no choice, but to listen to what the body is saying. Of course, thoughts, feelings and physical reactions are all linked – they all affect one another.
The thoughts, whether automatic, or consciously chosen, obviously need to be changed to more healthy ways of thinking, if inducing unnecessary feelings of anxiety and the thoughts which evoke healthy feelings and a relaxed state, obviously need to be reinforced and employed.
Being aware of how my body behaves in response to thoughts and emotions has been a weakness’ of mine for ever since I can remember, but practicing the new techniques as I have mentioned, is increasing my awareness of what happens in my body, leading to more control or choice with how I think and feel.
I would certainly suggest to others’ experiencing anxiety conditions to find the connection between thoughts, emotions and the body, or mind, body and emotions, to become aware and to transform towards a healthier mind, healthier emotional state and calmer physical state.