What happens in my body – what physical sensations are here – when I believe a particular thought? (A question from The Work.)
Or, said another way, what do I do in my body to believe a thought? (A question from TRE.)
Although each belief comes with a particular pattern, here are some general and common ones I notice for myself:
In general, I tighten the calf muscles. This reduces blood flow and sensations in my legs, which in turn reduces a sense of “grounding” so it’s easier to go into – and get caught up in – stories.
I hold my breath, making it more shallow. This too reduces sensations in my body – overall and most directly in the belly, chest and pelvis area – so it’s easier for attention to go away from sensations/body and into stories.
I tighten my neck and shoulder area, which does the same for that area of the body. This serves as source/anchor for a sense of weight or heaviness.
I sometimes tighten my jaw muscles. This happens mostly when the belief involves resentment, and gives a sense of hardness, unyielding.
There is sometimes a knot in my stomach or unpleasant “butterflies” (fear, dread).
When the facial muscles are slightly tensed, there is a sense of stiffness and numbness in the face. The face – and emotions – feel slightly frozen. (Emotions feel frozen because of holding the breath and tightening muscles other areas as well.)
And from sense field exploration, I see I tense the muscles in the back and roof of the mouth, and the sensations there then becomes an “anchor” for a sense of I.
Of course, what’s really helpful is looking at each belief separately, and find the body patterns associated with that belief.
Note: When a thought it taken as true, it’s the job of the mind to make it appear true. And this includes tensing up muscles in specific areas of the body to either reduce sensation (easier to go into stories) or create certain sensations (anchor for a certain emotion or feeling).
Note 2: As I continue exploring TRE and The Work in my daily life, I find I notice more easily – and as it happens – what I do in my body to believe a thought.
– what do i do in my body to believe a thought?
— tighten calf muscles, space out
–knot in stomach, tense shoulders/neck
— shallow breath
— tense the muscles in the back & roof of the mouth (becomes an “anchor” for a sense of I)