Emotions are an intermediary between your body and mind. The emotional body connects your physical body with your mental body (intellect) through the flow of vital energy called prana, qi, ether, akasha, and orgone.
This energy flows through your body causing it to move involuntarily. These movements result in your emotions, feelings, and thoughts. This involuntary movement precedes thoughts and feelings and supplies them with the matter. Under the influence of thoughts and feelings, you make conscious body movements. This process reflects the relationship between your soul (involuntary movements) and your ego (conscious actions).
In this article you will learn:
- How to develop your body and emotions.
- Why your body loses its natural grace and becomes stiff with age.
- How positive and negative emotions affect the body.
- What psychosomatic diseases are.
There are still movements that the mind can control, but they are considered involuntary because they are spontaneous. We are often unaware of such a movement unless we focus our attention on it. Purposeful movements are under the control of the ego and are subject to the conscious will. Involuntary movements such as eyelid blinking, twitching, tics, and breathing will occur whether you like it or not.
So, your body is in constant motion even while you sleep.
Involuntary movements are a manifestation of its vitality, which is why you are looking for them to recognize whether the body is alive by checking the breath or heartbeat. When the body freezes, feelings, such as during sleep, disappear, but involuntary movements, such as the heartbeat, do not disappear. Feelings force us to act immediately, and thoughts allow us to test some action in the mind before taking it.
Every living organism has the ability to move spontaneously. It’s something we’re born with. It is your lightness and freedom of movement flowing from your insight. It is the result of your connection to the world around you. This experience of your soul in the body of the so-called grace. You can admire it by observing e.g. wild animals in motion.
Unfortunately, as time goes on, you start to create a kind of armor in your body that begins to restrict and stiffen your softness of movement.
It arises as a result of trauma, suppression, repression, and blocking of emotions. Your body, with its form and expression, reflects all the experiences you have experienced. Unfortunately, not all experiences are pleasant and enjoyable. Injury, stress, or strong emotions create strong physical tension that inhibits your entire body, as well as your ability to feel joy and pleasure. Frustration and pain make your body stiff and tense. Depression affects not only your thoughts but also affects your movements, appetite, breathing, and energy production. Any emotion you don’t release is stress on your muscles. All this makes you move awkwardly, angularly over time, lose your charm and, in addition, you do not notice your emotional problems.
How do emotions affect the body?
Shame causes the body to cower and contract. It is often expressed in the body by bending and tilting the head leading to the so-called “Widow’s hump” or the position of the body resembling a dog with the tail tucked. It also suppresses sexuality. Guilt, on the other hand, is related to the general feeling in the body. A guilty person usually feels bad and doesn’t allow themself to feel anything. Apathy causes numbness, loss of vitality, and lack of feeling. Fear paralyzes the body. Sadness and regret or muffled crying ruin the internal organs, especially the intestines. Repressed anger puts the body under pressure, especially around the neck and shoulders. Only love and joy charge the body with energy, give you vigor, grace and flexibility. Only full of positive emotions you float on the waves of life and when you walk you almost hover above the ground.
If you want to regain your grace and health, you need to feel every part of your body.
What does it mean? We all know we have a back, but not everyone feels the tension in it or can recognize whether it is tense or springy and flexible. Likewise, not everyone is aware of their facial expressions. You remember when as a child you traveled by public transport and looked at the faces of people around you. Each of them had a fierce expression and all looked angry and dissatisfied with their lives. Then you decided that you will always have a nice expression on your face. You keep that in mind and keep checking if your facial muscles are relaxed.
If you cannot feel your body, you cannot recognize the emotions flowing from it.
By not recognizing your emotions, you are unable to meet your needs properly. You don’t recognize when you are tired or overworked, when you need sleep, when you need sex, and when you are just hungry. You confuse the sensations and often use the painkiller to block out the signals your body is sending instead of recognizing its needs. With your body experience flawed, some parts of your body are beyond your awareness. If you are not experiencing your own legs, how can you feel safe? If you are not experiencing your body, you usually have a wrong idea of it as well.
Muscle tensions caused by an old trauma and blocked emotions in the past stiffen your body, creating, as the Austrian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich put it, a kind of “armor”. They restrict your movements, take away your flexibility and grace. It leads to shallow breathing and lowering the level of life energy, problems with health, sex, they limit expression, feeling emotions, and also affect the quality of your relationships with others. They create your character structure and influence how you see the world.
Pleasant emotions positively affect the health, vitality, and grace of the body.
Negative and painful experiences, on the other hand. You reach for pleasure spontaneously, and you cower and withdraw from difficult and painful situations. If you can react to an experience or a trauma, the effect will not last as your body heals. If you block the response, the trauma will leave a mark on your body in the form of chronic muscle tension. When the reflex is consciously halted, the muscle contraction that occurs is extremely strong, when the tension becomes chronic, the muscles freeze in contraction, and the inhibition of the impulse becomes unconscious.
Chronic tension prevents the impulses from activating the muscles and prevents the person from feeling them. Chronic muscle tension makes the body stiff, blocks the flow of arousal, and destroys grace. A stiff body, as you know, is a dead body. Clenched muscles in any part of the body affect breathing quality, chronic muscle tension lowers energy levels and reduces the body’s vitality. It is only possible to increase your basal energy level by animating your body through the expression of your feelings. Lack of vitality is always the result of suppressing your feelings.
Any time your body has chronic muscle tension, your natural reflexes are unconsciously blocked. This is reflected in the body as a chronic, unconscious tension that blocks the body’s impulses. Over time, the life of a stiffened person becomes a constant struggle to find a solution to their internal conflicts.
Body grace and health depend on the balance between the ego and the body, between the will and willingness.
Unfortunately, in our culture, it is the will that determines most of our actions against the desires of the body. We are forced to get up in the morning and go to work, regardless of whether our body is rested or tired. As a result of such actions, our body loses its charm and becomes a machine. Only voluntary movements are spontaneous. The forced movements are stiff and angular.
The modern world is more ego-oriented than soul-oriented, and as a result, power has become the prime value, relegating pleasure to a subordinate position. The ambition of modern humans is to subjugate the world and control themself. Which also means having control over your own body and emotions. Meanwhile, happiness occurs when we go beyond our self. Only then does the power of creation flow through us. Creativity comes from our desire for pleasure and our need for self-expression. Man has to let go and let the body react freely if they wants to fully express themself. The inhibited person has difficulty experiencing pleasure because mental barriers restrict the flow of feelings and block the natural mobility of the body. Without pleasure, there can be no creativity. Without a creative attitude towards life, there will be no pleasure in it. A person full of life is sensitive and creative at the same time.
Psychosomatic diseases are an expression of the conflict between the soul and the ego.
The term psychosomatics comes from two Greek words: psyche and soma. They are translated as soul and body, but they have a deeper meaning and are called psyche everything that is spiritual and intangible, while the mundane world, stability, rock is soma. Somatism from the Greek somatikos – corporeal, related to the body. It means a tendency to express mental discomfort in the form of somatic (body) symptoms, usually pain of unknown origin, digestive or skin problems. Somatization is the unconscious and unintentional generation of physical symptoms that are a manifestation of mental ailments. Such as, for example, anxiety. The affected person travels from doctor to doctor to no avail. However, their health only improves after the emotional difficulties and psychological conflicts underlying these symptoms have been identified and worked through.
A person separated from the body forgets what pleasure is.
They forgets that life requires breathing and that the fuller you breathe, the more fully you live. Closing oneself in a cocoon of repressed emotions hinders the process of establishing communication with the outside world. However, in order to survive, an organism must be sensitive to its surroundings. The environment cannot be perceived if it does not affect the body. We need communication with the world and others to keep our bodies agitated. Our bodies resonate with other organisms. If not, it means we don’t resonate within ourselves. Connecting with others makes us able to achieve unity and enlightenment. Pleasure is the harmony between the body and the environment.
To be self-aware, you must first be aware of all the bodily sensations you are experiencing at any given moment.
Only then you know who you are, you have contact with yourself and you know what is happening in every part of your body. Only then you can open up to experiencing others through empathy and to experiencing other dimensions of existence with your psychic senses.
The only way to become free is to feel your tensions and find their connection with repressed feelings of fear, anger, anger, and sadness.
You suppress your feelings for fear that once they speak up, you run the risk of failing to deal with them. This belief usually comes from your childhood and experiences with it.
Alexander Lowen “The Spirituality of The Body” („Duchowość Ciała”), Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca, Warszawa 2011.
Alexander Lowen “Pleasure” („Przyjemność”), Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca, Warszawa 2011.
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Really interesting post!