THIS IS ISSUE.014 OF THE SMRT LIST
Are you stuck?
The uncomfortable truth is that some people stay stuck for years, and even decades because they lack interoception.
They’re stuck in the same routine, same toxic relationships, same mundane jobs, and same circle of friends who are never there for them when needed most.
The easiest way to get unstuck?
Change your environment.
Changing your environment will change your emotional state.
This is the secret to getting unstuck because your thoughts become things.
Besides, you can’t solve a problem from the same place that created it.
In this edition of THE SMRT LIST, we are going to chat about interoception to help you get unstuck.
You’re Stuck Because You Lack Interoception
Interoception is a superpower. It’s the ability to perceive and understand your body’s internal sensations, such as hunger, thirst, pain, and emotional states.
Unfortunately, many people lack this skill which is why so many of us are sick, inflamed, stressed, anxious, and depressed. We don’t listen to our bodies.
Our brains constantly play tricks on us with cognitive biases, trying to simplify an extremely complex reality we exist in.
But our body never lies. Emotions and events are embedded deep in your cells. It remembers everything.
Your Body Keeps Score
Have you ever noticed how your body reacts in certain places?
“The body keeps the score” means that our bodies remember the emotions and physical sensations associated with past experiences, especially difficult or traumatic ones. Even if we don’t consciously remember these events, our bodies can still react to them.
For example, certain places or things can remind us of past pain and make us feel on edge or ready to fight or run away.
When something bad happens, our bodies automatically respond by getting ready to protect us. This includes things like making our heart beat faster and making us more alert. Sometimes, even after the danger is gone, our bodies still hold onto the memory of what happened. So, if something reminds us of that event, our bodies can react as if the danger is happening again.
The idea of the body keeping the score shows that our bodies and minds are connected. Our emotions and experiences can affect our physical health, and how our bodies feel can influence our emotions. When we go through difficult things, like trauma or stress, it can impact our bodies and cause problems with our well-being.
This knowledge can keep us empowered so we stop ignoring the signals our body is sending us.
Sickness & Personality Types
Gabor Maté, a renowned physician and author, has proposed that there is a connection between certain personality traits and the development of specific diseases. His approach emphasizes the impact of psychosocial factors, including childhood experiences, emotional stress, and personality characteristics, on physical health. He suggests that chronic stress, emotional repression, and certain personality traits can contribute to an increased vulnerability to various illnesses.
Here are some examples from Gabor Mate’s research:
- Type A personality and heart disease: individuals with Type A personalities, characterized by competitiveness, time urgency, and hostility, may be more prone to developing heart disease due to the chronic stress and high levels of cortisol associated with this personality type.
- Perfectionism and autoimmune disorders: people who are perfectionistic and tend to be excessively self-critical may be more susceptible to autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. He suggests that the constant self-imposed pressure and emotional stress associated with perfectionism can dysregulate the immune system.
- Repressed emotions and addiction: individuals who repress or suppress their emotions are more likely to develop addictive behaviors as a way to cope with emotional distress.
- Childhood trauma and chronic illnesses: traumatic experiences during childhood, such as neglect, abuse, or parental substance abuse, can increase the risk of developing various chronic illnesses later in life, including autoimmune disorders, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders.
Disclaimer: it's important to know that there isn't a clear agreement among scientists about this. The causes of diseases like ALS or rheumatoid arthritis are complex and involve many different factors, like genes and the environment.
⚡️ ACTIONABLE STEPS
5 Ways To Master Interoception To Get Unstuck
By becoming an interoception expert, you gain emotional awareness superpowers. You can decode those sensations, figure out what’s really going on in your heart and mind, and break free from the stuckness.
Feeling anxious? Your racing heart is telling you to take a breather and find some zen. Feeling drained? Your body is begging for some self-care and Netflix marathons (don’t forget the popcorn).
Interoception is like having your own personal emotion radar. It’s all about tuning in to those bodily sensations that give you a heads-up about what’s going on inside. You know, like when your heart starts racing or your stomach ties itself in knots. These cues are like secret messages from your body, telling you to pay attention
1. Tune into Your Emotion Radar
Take moments throughout the day to check in with your body. Notice any physical sensations that accompany different emotions. Is your heart racing with excitement or your stomach sinking with anxiety? Use these bodily cues to gain insight into your emotional state and make informed decisions.
2. Master the Stress Detector
Pay attention to physical indicators of stress, such as muscle tension, headaches, or shallow breathing. When you notice these warning signs, take proactive steps to manage stress. Engage in relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, engage in physical activities that help you unwind, or seek support from loved ones.
3. Embrace Your Gut Feelings
Trust those “gut feelings” that arise from the subtle bodily cues. When facing tough decisions or feeling unsure, listen to what your body is telling you. Take time to pause, reflect, and connect with your inner wisdom. Use these signals as a compass to guide you towards choices that align with your authentic self.
4. Set Boundaries, Break Free
Practice: Pay attention to your body’s signals when you’re feeling overwhelmed or drained. Tune in to sensations like fatigue, tension, or irritability. Take these cues as reminders to set boundaries, say “no” when needed, and prioritize self-care. By honoring your limits, you’ll free yourself from situations that hinder your growth and well-being.
5. Cultivate Mind-Body Connection
Practice: Engage in activities that promote mind-body connection, such as meditation, body scans, yoga, or tai chi. These practices allow you to become more attuned to the subtle sensations within your body. Regularly dedicate time to these activities, embracing the present moment and embracing the power of interoception.
⚡️ Personal Story
I Refuse To Stay Stuck
My strength is I never let myself stay stuck. I’ve seen way too many people in my life stay stuck for years or decades and I refuse to let that happen to me. That’s how I learn.
My standards are too high.
I’ve been through a lot of sadness, death, and grief over the last few months, and my body would physically get sick despite how strong my mind was when I return to certain places. I’m no stranger to the because I’ve been experiencing since my body first shut down in 2020 from chronic stress, trauma, and pain. My acupuncturist has been preaching for years, “Katy you need to listen to your body because your mind is too strong.”
My body associated those places with past pain— triggering a fight-or-flight response.
I went to LA at the beginning of April for a cycling training camp and ended up staying there for two months to set up a home base because I decided to move to that place I once called Home.
To get unstuck, I decided to move because my body literally heals when I go back to LA.
I’ve always had a deep energetic connection to LA where I felt truly liberated, wild, and free because that was where I moved to after leaving my conventional life with a 9-5. Returning to The City of Angles allows me to recharge and reflect, resetting my nervous system. I experience a profound sense of joy, upliftment, and positivity.
We are energetic beings, and our bodies hold the imprints of our experiences.
Remember, developing interoception takes practice and patience. Embrace the journey, explore what works for you, and trust in your body’s innate wisdom. By harnessing your interoceptive superpowers, you’ll break free from feeling stuck and navigate life’s twists and turns with greater clarity and fulfillment.