By Kate, 14-May-2013 11:06:00
I had a great massage from Leora Leboff last week, most of is focused on my belly. It has made me think about the ways we digest both food and emotions. In biodynamic work, we think of digestion as processing our emotions as well as our food, sorting through what will nourish us and rejecting what does not.
Many people suffer from digestive problems that have an emotional root cause, this is thought to be because the gut has dense nervous system which receives information from the thoratic, lumbar and cranial nerves so can effectively can ‘talk’ to the rest of the body.
Getting the good stuff
Digesting good food, the kind of food that is gentle to our bodies and gives us energy and nourishment is fairly easy. Similarly digesting a friendly, emotionally nourishing interaction with someone will not be too tricky. We just tend to process the 'good' stuff better, we talk about it, allow the feelings in our body more, think about them so they are easier to process.
Spitting out the bad?
But what if the food is not kind to you (I once ate 3 donuts in a row for example, euuuuugh I felt awful) what if the interaction is too intimate, too frightening or too much? The negative experience might not be talked about, the feelings not felt or allowed in our bodies and consequently they are less easy to digest.
Here are six ideas to help you have a happy belly and a happy heart.
if you’re quick and nimble, you can choose whether to ‘take in’ the experience to your body. ‘ Does that insult belong to me? No, she’s just annoyed with her brother’ for example. Sometimes, but not always, it is possible to spit out what does not nourish you.
2. Be mindful
Eat slowly and mindfully - notice how you experience the emotion in your body. Be with your feelings.
3. Stay hydrated
I don’t know why this helps to process emotions, but it does.
4. Chew well
Sort through what has happened, with a trusted friend or family member. Or if you can't do that, behave like one to yourself, imagine what a compassionate, objective friend would say to you in this situation.
5. Rest afterwards
If you do vigorous exercise after a big meal you can't digest your food. It hurts! Similarly rushing into lots of activity when you're upset prevents you from processing your feelings.
6. Let go!
Ok, look away if you're squeamish; you can't make yourself poo on demand. It just doesn't work! And with letting go of feelings, you can't force yourself to let go of them, it just takes its own time. You have to have them and be with where you are. Then one day, while you we're looking the other way, the conflict has shifted.
Please leave a comment below to say how you process your emotions, and if you find this article interesting, do share it using the handy twitter and facebook buttons on the right.
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