Posted on Mar 10th, 2006

Many people become skillful in communicating with others, but not so skillful with communicating with their own bodies. The body tries to communicate with you all the time, but you may not be aware and listening and responding to its signals in an appropriate way. As you stop listening and responding, it tries to speak louder to you, and you may feel ‘negative’ emotions with increasing intensity, until finally you do listen.

Negative signals are there to help and protect you. They are triggered by your body’s alarm system. To calm down the signals you need to communicate with your body. There is a well-known statistic that 55% of communication is via visual information or body language, 38% via the tone of the voice, and 7% via the actual words. 93% of communication is therefore the ‘way’ you do things. Something similar applies to communicating with your own body. You can influence yourself to some extent through words, but you can influence yourself much more through the way you use those words, through the way you take your actions, through imagination and feeling.

Think about how a song influences you. The music is usually much more memorable, and powerful on your feelings than the actual words. In the same way, you can influence your feelings through modifying the tonality and pace of your inner voice. In the same way, imagination and visualization are more effective than just using words. The autonomous nervous system controls involuntary actions like heartbeat. It is difficult to make the heartbeat go faster by asking it to do so, but just imagine a terrifying experience, and it immediately becomes faster. Therefore, rather than telling yourself to calm down, just imagine a relaxing environment surrounding you—say a beautiful ocean in front of you and the warmth of the sun on your body and you immediately feel more relaxed.

Dr Farsheed Farjady is the author of a website that deals with a wide range of topics relating to motivation, flow, power, relaxation, emotional management, and success.

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