In my Effective Communication class we're learning about NVC - Non Violent Communication. It's interesting, a little bit slow to start, but my favorite part of it is the homework, strangely enough! Mollie, our teacher, is a wonderfully compassionate and caring person who really wants to understand you and help you through any confusion or issues (or if it's all good, she wants to hear about that too!) Our homework from this last class was to take these 8 "feelings" and describe what we notice actually physically happens when they are triggered. I had so much fun writing this, and found out a whole lot more about myself from it than I thought I would. So I'm putting it in my blog! Do YOU know how to describe what your body is going through when you're feeling these?
The 8 feelings were:
and I described them as follows...
Anxiety makes my body shake. My heart skips beats, and my stomach is in knots. Something looms over my mind and my state of being, and sometimes I have no idea why or what it is that is causing such discomfort. My speech becomes impaired; words don't relate as easily, as if there were short-circuiting happening. Anxiety causes mental blockage, and also almost physical blockage. My heart is tight, veiling itself with a security blanket to ward off the inevitable. Anxiety to me is like living in the future, always of afraid of what's coming next.
Frustration gets to my head, mostly. I get very heated, blood rushing to the surface, as though I could be perceived by others as having red flesh. Brain gets cloudy and my view narrow -- I can only see darkness, negativity, and more frustration. I am so narrow-minded that I don't see what's happening with the rest of my body.
Overjoyed, I am lighter than ever. This is also an emotion which does not have much feeling attached to it since my heart and soul are so elevated they could be beyond body sensation. I suppose my heart is racing, and my face hurts from smiling too much! My eyes may be burning from crying of laughter and joy!
Relieved is a reversing of anxiety and frustration. I feel my body coming back, almost as if it were numb beforehand. Pins and needles sometimes are felt throughout extremedies which weren't getting enough oxygen and circulation. That in itself gives me a small head rush, and my heart lets go of fear or whatever's causing the pain. I feel my heart expanding and starting to beat steadily again. My body is lighter and heavier at the same time: heavier because I feel a lot more grounded, but lighter because a heavy weight has been lifted. Strange contradiction.
I don't think I've ever been truly terrified. And if I have, my mind has completely blocked this memory for safety's sake. I imagine terrified is much like anxious, but exponentially more intensified. I don't feel my body. My mind is no longer relating to Lydia; it is completely irrational. I would be heavy all over, as though my ankles and my wrists were tied with weights; movement would be scarce, if at all. I would be blocked, still, cramped, and bolted to the ground.
Amused is probably the hardest to describe. I've never paid much attention ... amused in itself means you are preoccupied with something outside of yourself, attention focused toward the amusing person or object or situation. It feels good, though! I feel most comfortable with my body and who I am as a person when I am amused, as it disconnects my rambling mind from reality for however long of moments.
Disappointed. Let down. Dragged out. Body droops, feels heavy, heart sinks -- it's all a very "downward" motion and feeling. My body may even physically show these signs by slouching and lowering my head even as I walk. No looking at others in the eyes, or seeing anything above and beyond "me". This is probably the total opposite of overjoyed, where I feel light and free and see beyond who I am and what the world could become; instead I revert inward and sink and pout. Worst of all, I know someone or something else was the cause of disappointment, but I am the one who expected too much. This becomes full of realisations and evaluating my beliefs and judgement.
Energized is quite literal, very clear and focused. It is driven, in my body feeling like a charge of electricity running through my veins and through my brain. I can see clearly what's ahead -- and all around me -- and muscles move freely and with ease. I do feel lighter, like being overjoyed, but there is a sense of neutrality to the energy, whereas overjoyed would have been catalysed by something very particular.