Many people are cut off from what their bodies are feeling, unaware of how their emotions manifest physically. Whether you're aware of it or not, emotions often can be first detected in the body. Do you know that different people experience the same emotion differently? When you feel rage, you might feel a tightening in your head - like a headband being pulled too tight - or a burning in your gut. Another person might feel rage and literally see red, as if he or she were wearing red-tinted glasses. How do emotions express themselves in your body?

1. What emotions are you feeling right now? Are you under pressure, frustrated, impatient, or resentful? Do you feel exhausted, depleted, and ready to snap?

2. Once you've identified what you're feeling, pay attention to what is happening in your body. Are you hot or cold in certain places? Do you notice any tension or pain in one area?

3. Focus on the specific regions of your body where your feelings are manifesting, and imagine breathing into them. ON your in-breath, visualize comfort and understanding. ON your out-breath, visualize release and relief.

4. By paying attention to the subtle emotional movements in your body, you reconnect with yourself in profoundly healing ways.

Excerpt from FIVE GOOD MINUTES® IN YOUR BODY: 100 Mindful Practices to Help You Accept Yourself & Feel at Home in Your Body

Author's Bio: 

JEFFREY BRANTLEY, MD, is a consulting associate in the Duke Department of Psychiatry and the founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke University’s Center for Integrative Medicine. He is author of Calming Your Anxious Mind and coauthor of Five Good Minutes, Five Good Minutes in the Evening, Five Good Minutes at Work, and The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook. Dr. Brantley is founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke University’s Center for Integrative Medicine.

WENDY MILLSTINE, NC, is a freelance writer and certified holistic nutrition consultant who specializes in diet and stress reduction. She is coauthor of Five Good Minutes, Five Good Minutes in the Evening, and Five Good Minutes at Work.