The body gives us signals that something is wrong
On many occasions, the body sends us signals that something is wrong. Our stomach hurts, we feel nauseous, we have tremors ... and, apparently, there is no medical problem.
But there are problems. We feel so much psychological discomfort that it has been transferred to our body in the form of physical symptoms. We know this as somatizing and it is a very common phenomenon.
Since many people suffer from these symptoms, there are many who wonder what exercises to stop somatizing they can do . Here we will see a list of some of them, very useful and easy to incorporate into our day to day.
Recommended exercises to stop somatizing and feel better
Somatizing is turning our psychological problems into organic symptoms, that is, it is the physical expression of psychological discomfort. The mind and the body are closely related and, as much as it is difficult for some to understand, if we do not take care of our psyche, our body will be seriously damaged.
Stress, tension, and any negative emotions sustained for a long time cause our immune system to suffer , making us prone to illness and other medical problems.
When we somatize we feel pains in the stomach, nausea, headaches, migraines and even vomiting. Our defenses are weakened and there are changes in the secretion of hormones and metabolic processes. Of course, psychological problems can cause us a lot of organic damage and it is for this reason so important to learn to manage our emotions, going to a professional but also incorporating exercises to stop somatizing.
1. Recognize negative emotions
A stomach ache or nausea are very easy symptoms to feel, in the sense that, when they occur, we are well aware that we are suffering from them. When they do not go away in any way and have no obvious medical cause, such as an infection or other disease, there is most likely an underlying psychological problem. It will not disappear because we try to pass time; what you have to do is identify what negative emotion is behind your organic discomfort .
The help of a psychologist will never be expendable. Going to a mental health professional can help us a lot to introspect and see the origins of our discomfort. However, we can go a little further on our own by stopping to think about what it is that really makes us feel this way . Recognizing negative emotions is the first step to feeling better
Once the emotion is recognized, we will write it down on paper, describing everything that is related to it: our past experiences, what physical symptoms it causes us, how it appears in our mind (obsession, anxiety, fear ...) and we will do something as simple as saying it out loud. We will mention it, being clear about what it is and what it is not, without ambiguity. This is the maximum time that we are going to let him occupy in our lives, nothing more. Having said everything, we will try to focus on the tasks that we have to do.
By doing this exercise we may come up with possible rational solutions to the problem on our own. It is fine that, as long as they are not harmful to us or others, we try to apply them. Also, in case we are going to the psychologist, discuss them to see what guidelines you think we should take . All of this is the first step in reducing our somatization.
2. Take care of the physical and move
As we have said, the relationship between mind and body is close, and also two-way. Whether we take care of the mind or the body we benefit both. This is why it is so important to take care of the physical and move. With this we do not refer to boasting the physical aspect, but to take care of our body by taking a healthy and rich diet, doing sports, not consuming tobacco or abusing alcohol and avoiding, in essence, any factor that harms our body.
While doing sports does not cure depression or anxiety as many people believe, it does reduce the symptoms of these problems, and it can also be the push to take a more optimistic view of life. Be that as it may, when exercising endorphins and other neurochemical substances are released that increase our psychological well-being and, consequently, reduce somatization. Any physical activity will help us to have a better quality of sleep and will improve our immunity against diseases.
3. Control breathing
Breathing exercises are a classic in psychological practice. Controlling the way we breathe helps us relax and keep anxiety under control.
A good controlled breathing exercise consists of putting one hand on the abdomen and the other on the chest, inhaling and holding the air for 7 seconds , exhale slowly for 8 seconds and notice how we slowly contract the abdominal muscles. This respiratory cycle will be done every 10 seconds, with about 6 breaths per minute.
4. Yoga and relaxation
Another classic. Some may not do much, but there are not a few psychologists who recommend their patients to attend a yoga course or do it at home by watching tutorials on the Internet. Leaving aside the esoteric part of this practice, the truth is that yoga is a good exercise to reduce anxiety and, as a positive side effect, its somatic effects.
Another alternative is relaxation techniques, very recurrent in psychology . Some of the most used are the Jakobson relaxation technique or the body scan. These techniques consist of paying attention to each part of the body, being aware of its sensations, position, posture, temperature and other associated aspects. There are many resources that teach these practices in depth.
5. Listen and make music
It seems like a no-brainer, but it's still not bad to state it. When we listen to music that we like, the production of dopamine , the neurotransmitter associated with pleasant sensations, increases and cortisone, which is the stress hormone, is reduced. Music can greatly improve our mood, be it our favorite music, although ambient and New Age are quite good options. If what we want is to be energetic, music with fast rhythms, such as that used in Fitness sessions, is ideal.
But not only listening to it helps us to somatize less. If we know how to play an instrument, even if it is the flute that they made us play at school, it is a very good way to de-stress. Creating music, being creative and enjoying it are good reducers of our psychological problems, since they encourage us and make us take our attention away from all the physical symptoms associated with them.
Sometimes all we need is to give a good yell. We release all the energy that we have accumulated , which is eating us inside. Shouting is a good option, as long as it is done in a place like a mountain, in the middle of the field or in a place enabled for it. The grace is to release everything that we consider to be the psychological origin of our physical discomfort, although, of course, it is not going to be fixed by magic. It would be a more "powerful" version of point 1.
With yelling, you should not think that we are recommending yelling at those people who we believe are the cause of our discomfort. That is not the way to fix the problems we may have with them. By doing that, what we are going to generate is more tension and relational problems, which will increase our discomfort and, consequently, our somatization. Shouting must be done towards nothingness, towards a place where we want our problems to stop and disappear, to leave us alone.
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