May 19, 2017
On a daily basis I encounter varying degrees of anxiety in women relating to some aspect of their pregnancy. A mother’s concern for her own and her baby’s (born or unborn) well-being is normal, primal, protective, healthy. Anxiety affecting work, relationships, enjoyment, sleep is not.
Aside from the fact that anxiety impacts on the woman’s daily life, it is also well known to impact on her current pregnancy and unborn baby. Anxiety upsets the emotional and mental balance of the woman, although the exact dynamics of the interactions with the fetus are not known, however have been measured in terms of preterm birth and low birth weight. One study shows the Maternal cortisol levels correlating with the cortisol levels in the amniotic fluid and this was linked to lower birth weight. ⁴ Specifically, anxiety and stress are risk factors for preterm birth and low birth weight. 1,2
October 19, 2016
Have you ever focused your full attention on your right hand for two whole minutes?
If not, now is the time. Take a moment, set your timer, close your eyes and start. All attention on your right hand, keep the attention neutral and objective.
Two minutes done.. take another moment now to observe what you notice about your right hand; the temperature or size or weight, notice how it feels compared to your left hand.
There’s no right or wrong observations.
Body awareness can be discussed in different ways, for example in sports or yoga it’s about knowing where each limb is in space and time, knowing when it’s tired and needs a rest. In your work place it’s about knowing when and how to change positions if you sit or stand a lot in one position all day and how move around your workplace with care, being mindful of your body.
In Sophrology body awareness refers particularly to tuning in to your body as a whole, and part by part, to notice what there is to notice. Common things to notice are warm or cool, heavy or light, tingling or buzzing, big or small.
Noticing is one part of the exercise however noticing objectively is the other. What does this mean?
Objective awareness involves noticing these sensations without analysis or judgement. Being open to your body experience as it is. There’s no good or bad, no right or wrong, just objective fact.
Subjective observation on the other hand would involve your inner voice commenting on the experience and rating it or judging it. Saying things like “it was just a little bit warm so that’s probably not right” or “I’m not feeling anything I can’t do this”. This is the inner talk that feeds nobody’s soul. Notice if you do this and then let it go, return to being objective.
Stay free from judgement, notice as if it’s the first time you’re noticing, and with curiosity and wonder.
To experience this I encourage you to try the FREE Mood Lifting exercise. In this mood lifting exercise you will be asked:
– to notice your body as it is now, as if it is the first time you have noticed that you have a body
– to think of each of the colours of the rainbow and notice if you feel anything happening in your body while you do this
– to re-experience a recent moment of happiness. A smile, the sun shining, some music, a present, etc – just a tiny moment…. While you are re-living this moment, check in with your body and discover how it is reacting to this experience.
– Let go of the visualisation and concentrate on the physical sensations that you are experiencing in your body
TIP: Do the exercise with curiosity and wonder – curious and full of wonder about this body that is yours for the whole of your life-time.
Remember to stay objective and notice when you become subjective.
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