How To FEEL your feelings (thoughts, emotions, sensations, or whatever else you can feel): “Instructions” are below this questionnaire. There are several prompts to help use this form, to get you started. You can create any sort of prompt you want. The possibilities are infinite. * If you have a history of extreme/difficult past experiences read the caution information below, before using this form. ——————- This form is free for personal use! To use these forms for teaching material, therapeutic or all other purposes: include citations and send $ to gertrudious AT gmail.com

 

“INSTRUCTIONS” – How To FEEL your feelings (thoughts, emotions, sensations, or whatever else you can feel). Below are several prompts for using this form. These prompts are just examples to get you started. You can create any sort of prompt you want. The possibilities are infinite.

* Note of caution: if you have a history of extreme/difficult past experiences (such as trauma/complex ptsd) it is possible that a reactivation of traumatic experience may occur. If you have never done any sort of body-based healing work, I suggest working with another trauma-informed person to begin. In any case, I recommend beginning your investigations with neutral or safe feeling material before investigating any difficult feelings/experiences.

 

Chose one prompt, then use this form – fill in any/all of the information that applies to your experience.

1. You could start by doing a brief body scan.If you notice some area of yourself that is “speaking up” just a bit louder than other areas, or an area that just seems interesting to explore, you could fill out this form as it relates to that area/sensation. There is not really a “wrong” way to do this. This is all an exploration. It may be helpful/easiest to start by limiting your investigation to one or two areas of focus.

2. You could start by noticing an emotion. Maybe you notice that you feel sad, angry or joyful. Use this form to help you investigate how you experience this emotion. Again, there is not really a “wrong” way to do this. This is all an exploration. It may be helpful/easiest to start by limiting your investigation to just one or two areas of your body.

3. You could prompt yourself by asking yourself a question.

Often people answer questions with heady-thinking, reasoning, searching for meaning and the like. In this case, the goal will be to try to do something a bit different.

First, figure out what question to ask yourself. This doesn’t need to be THE most important question of all time. It could be something like, “what should I do about this job…?” Or something general, like, “how is my life going?” Or, it could relate to another person such as, “how am I feeling in relation to so-and-so…?” Play around, try different sorts of questions to find what works for you.

Next, mentally place your question or any heady-thinking on a mental shelf, or let them drift away from your mental focus.

Now, bring all of your attention to what you can feel in your body. Notice, does some area catch your attention or seem especially interesting or “important”-feeling? Maybe, maybe not. You could really chose any area to explore and be doing this “right”. If some area catches your attention, it’s often easiest to start there. Investigate what you can feel, using this form, as is helpful to you.

If you notice a lot of words and/or heady-reasoning-thinking coming up, mentally put those thoughts back on a mental shelf or let them float away. Return to investigate the sensations. (This prompt is a modification of E.Gendlin’s Focusing method – https://focusing.org/sixsteps)

4. You could investigate your thinking. If you are experiencing a lot of heady-thinking you could begin to notice, where do you feel this feeling-of-thinking? Investigate the sensations of those thoughts, using this form as is helpful to you. If you notice heady-reasoning-thinking coming up, return to the sensations you experience. Try to mentally put any new or related thoughts on a shelf or let them float away. Again, return to investigate the sensations, using this form as is helpful to you.

5. You could play with a memory of a person – or a specific interaction. Bring many details to your mind’s eye about this person or moment. Maybe it helps to fill in your mental picture by asking yourself, “are they sitting or standing or…?”, “what does their face look like?”, or “what sounds are happening in the background?”, “what do they smell like?”, etc.

Next, mentally move your question and/or any heady-thinking-narrative-thinking on a mental shelf, or let them drift away.

Now, bring all of your attention to what you can feel in your body. Notice, does some area catch your attention or seem especially interesting or “important”-feeling? Maybe, maybe not. You could really chose any area to explore and be doing this “right”. If some area catches your attention, it’s often easiest to start there. Investigate what you can feel, using this form, as is helpful to you.

If you notice a lot of words and/or heady-reasoning-thinking coming up, mentally put those thoughts back on a shelf or let them float away. Return to investigate the sensations, using this form as is helpful to you.

6. You could change your form and investigate how that shifts what/how you feel. You could really try anything here. A few examples are: to place your hands on your face, chest or belly. Or, do ten jumping jacks in a row. Or, push a wall as hard as you can for 10-20 seconds. Or, curl up into child’s pose for a minute. In some case you can begin investigating while you are in this position. In some cases it may be easier to investigate after you’ve performed some action. After you’ve done whatever action you have chosen, next, do a quick bodyscan. Look for ANYthing that you feel, which seems interesting to explore further. It may be more of a physical-sensation feeling or more of an emotion-sensation feeling. It may be easiest to begin exploring just one area. Use this form as it is helpful to you.

 

 

 

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