Science has proven what experienced meditators already know: that there is a physical sensation that corresponds with our emotional states. Whatever you are feeling emotionally, you will also feel it somewhere physically in your body if you quiet your mind and pay attention. (Think of “butterflies in your stomach” when you’re nervous, or an ache in your chest when you’re grieving, for example.) Other common physical sensations are heaviness, pressure, tightness, heat or cold, and tingling. This is why it’s so important to be aware of what you’re feeling in your body during meditation - these physical sensations can often tell us a lot about what we’re feeling emotionally, and paying attention to all this is how we can manage our emotions. We aren’t pushing difficult feelings away but are instead fully experiencing them, watching them from the perspective of a kind and gentle researcher. Sometimes it only takes a few minutes before the emotion loses its power over you, and in time you learn that these things come and go. They don’t define who you are.
From Discover Magazine: Researchers have long known that emotions are connected to a range of physiological changes, from nervous job candidates’ sweaty palms to the racing pulse that results from hearing a strange noise at night. But new research reveals that emotional states are universally associated with certain bodily sensations, regardless of individuals’ culture or language.
Yellow shows regions of increased sensation while blue areas represent decreased feeling in these composite images.
(Image: Lauri Nummenmaa, Enrico Glerean, Riitta Hari, and Jari Hietanen. Source: discovermagazine.com)