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The Felt Sense: Inner Coherence for Mental Well-being

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, we often find ourselves disconnected from our inner selves—our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This disconnection can lead to a sense of fragmentation and disharmony within ourselves. However, there exists an often overlooked phenomenon known as the felt sense, which can serve as a pathway to inner coherence and mental well-being.

The felt sense can be described as a subtle yet powerful bodily sensation that arises from within. It encompasses the intricate interplay between our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, providing us with a deep sense of knowing and understanding. Unlike explicit thoughts or emotions, the felt sense is often vague and elusive, requiring gentle attention and mindfulness to access.

Function of the Felt Sense:

The felt sense serves as a bridge between the body, breath, and mind. By tuning into this embodied information, we can cultivate a sense of inner coherence and alignment. When we are connected to our felt sense, we experience a profound sense of presence and groundedness in the here and now. This, in turn, fosters mental clarity, emotional resilience, and overall well-being.

Disconnected from the Felt Sense:

Being disconnected from the felt sense can manifest in various physiological and mental challenges. Physiologically, this disconnection may manifest as tension, discomfort, or even pain in the body. Mentally, it can lead to feelings of disorientation, anxiety, or depression. When we ignore or suppress our felt sense, we miss out on valuable cues and insights that could guide us towards greater harmony and balance.

Common distractions that keep us disconnected from the felt sense include excessive busyness, digital distractions, and numbing behaviors such as overeating or substance abuse. In today's fast-paced world, we are often encouraged to prioritize external stimuli over internal awareness, perpetuating a cycle of disconnection and dis-ease.

Benefits of Being Connected to the Felt Sense:

Cultivating a deep connection to the felt sense offers a myriad of benefits for our overall well-being. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Enhanced self-awareness: By tuning into our felt sense, we gain valuable insights into our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations, allowing us to respond with greater clarity and wisdom.

  2. Stress reduction: The practice of connecting to the felt sense can help to alleviate stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and inner calm.

  3. Improved decision-making: When we are attuned to our felt sense, we can make decisions that are aligned with our true values and intentions, leading to a greater sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Mindfulness Exercise for Connecting to the Felt Sense:

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can sit or lie down without distractions.

  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, allowing yourself to relax and unwind.

  3. Shift your attention inward and begin to notice any sensations arising in your body. Pay attention to areas of tension or relaxation, warmth or coolness, heaviness or lightness.

  4. As you continue to breathe mindfully, gently explore these sensations without judgment or analysis. Allow yourself to simply be present with whatever arises.

  5. Notice if there is a subtle feeling or sense of "rightness" or "knowing" that emerges from within. This is your felt sense.

  6. Stay with this felt sense for as long as feels comfortable, allowing it to unfold and deepen with each breath.

  7. When you are ready, gently bring your awareness back to the present moment and slowly open your eyes.

Coaching Tips:

  • Start by focusing on one area of the body at a time, such as the chest, abdomen, or hands.

  • Notice any changes or shifts in sensation as you deepen your awareness.

  • Remember that the felt sense may not always be immediately obvious or clear. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you explore this inner terrain.

By regularly practicing this mindfulness exercise, you can develop a deeper connection to your felt sense and tap into its profound benefits for mental well-being. As you learn to listen to your body, breath, and mind, you will discover a newfound sense of inner coherence and harmony.

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