How To Feel Safe In Your BodyFeb 08, 2023
The more inner work I do, the more I am realizing that we are all a bunch of terrified children walking around in adult bodies. That's right. Most of us are walking around in a chronic state of fight, flight or freeze mode because of unresolved trauma from our past.
As a result, we keep endlessly searching for love, validation, approval and recognition in all of the wrong places, while betraying ourselves in the process. This leaves us feeling disassociated from our bodies, disconnected from our hearts, and completely numbed out.
So, how can we start to trust ourselves and feel safe again?
Below I am sharing the tools and practices that have helped me along my journey, to inspire you to create a safe home within yourself. Know that it is possible to bring safety back into the body no matter what experiences you've had in the past.
Keep reading for How To Feel Safe In Your Body:
Uncover Patterns Of Self-Betrayal
For me, a lot of my trauma was a result of my conditioned patterns of self-betrayal. I had a history of betraying my own sense of safety in an attempt to gain external love, validation, or approval from others. My body no longer trusted me to make decisions because I kept putting it in unsafe situations. Uncovering where I was betraying myself for external love and then working to break these patterns has helped me to feel safe again.
Here are some journaling questions that can help you determine where you may be betraying yourself:
- Have I been in any situations lately that I have felt uncomfortable in? What decisions did I make in those situations and how can I make a new choice next time?
- Is there anyone that I feel unsafe or uncomfortable around that I continue to spend time with? What boundaries do I need to set with them?
- When am I saying yes when I actually want to say no?
- What have I been doing out of obligation, or because I think it's what I "should" do or "have to do" vs. what I actually want to do?
Allow the space for your answers to come to you free of judgement- the more honest you can be with yourself the better. With this new level of awareness, you can start to shift these patterns.
One way to do this is by creating more space in your life-- especially between people's requests and your responses. If you have a default response of pleasing others, taking the space to consciously make a new choice is extremely important.
This could look or sound like like:
- Taking time to respond to texts, calls, or emails
- "Thank you for the invitation. I am going to take time to think about it and will let you know."
- Simply practicing saying "No" more often
This may feel extremely scary at first-- not enough people talk about the feelings that come along with breaking these patterns and behaviors. You could experience crying, shaking, feeling like your world is crumbling, feelings of shame, unworthiness, or guilt. Know that this is a normal part of the healing process, and that it does get better.
As you continue to show up for yourself and become your own advocate and source of love, it will get easier and easier. The practices below will also help you strengthen your connection to yourself along the way.
Build Trust With Yourself
The more you can replace these patterns of self-betrayal with proof that you can be trusted to keep yourself safe and to advocate for yourself, the safer you will feel to return to your body.
Read the full blog post on building self-trust linked here! This blog is filled with different steps and practices to help you build trust with yourself again.
The best place to start is with making small daily promises to yourself. Completing one simple act of self love that you feel confident you can keep every single day will put you on the path towards feeling safe in your body again.
Hold Space For Past Versions Of You
Once you feel confident that you can love and care for yourself in the moment, you can start to go back and hold space for the past versions of you that felt unsafe, scared, uncomfortable, abandoned, or alone. This is a process called "inner child healing".
We all have certain core memories or time stamps that stick with us. This is because the unresolved emotions that we felt in those moments continue to be stored in the body until they are released. There is an inner child within each of us that still feels the way they felt in those moments, and they are waiting for the adult version of you to be the parent they needed at the time, allowing them to feel seen, heard, and understood.
Try this practice:
1. Sit in a quiet, comfortable, and safe space free of distractions
2. Think about a moment or time in your life where you felt scared, uncomfortable, powerless, alone, etc. If there are multiple time stamps coming to you, it could be helpful to write them down. I have found that by working with the earliest one you can remember, the others are resolved more easily.
3. Imagine sitting with that child version of yourself. Ask that version of you how they felt in that moment and allow them to share how they felt.
*Note-- it will feel like you are re-experiencing this moment all over again. Remind yourself that you are safe in the moment you are in, and as you feel it, you are releasing it from your body*
4. Once you feel that they have gotten it all out, respond to that child version of yourself. What do you want to say to them now? How can you console them and even thank them for allowing you to become who you are now?
P.S. you don't have to do this alone-- if you feel more comfortable working with someone to dive into your past you can work with a practitioner, therapist, or guide.
5. Once you feel complete, send that child version of you lots of love, and promise to take them with you into the next chapter of your journey, where they will be safe moving forward.
As you practice healing these past versions of you, those dense emotions will get released from the body, allowing your natural baseline to rise.
Practice Body Awareness
Now that you have created a safe environment and space for yourself, you can practice returning to your body and living from your heart.
Doing practices that intentionally bring your awareness back into the body can help you start feeling safe to be in it again.
Here are some practices to try:
- Breath-work: intentionally breathing new life into your body moves your awareness out of the mind and back into your body
- Movement: try incorporating daily movement that focuses on body awareness into your routine. Some great options are dance, yoga, pilates, or barre.
- Meditation: try doing a body scan meditation daily. There are some great free options available on Youtube! The purpose of this practice is to move your awareness up through the different parts of your body, noticing any sensations, tension, or tightness, and intentionally relaxing.
As you do these practices, you will start to create a safe space for your soul to live and create from again.
If you have another practice to share with the community, leave it in the comments below.
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