Reconnecting to Our Physical Being
When we drink alcohol, we are consuming something that causes us to disconnect from our bodies and our physical being. We “numb out” literally and figuratively; alcohol really does lessen our ability to feel many of the physical sensations buzzing through our bodies under normal circumstances. Because we become accustomed to this physical separation from our being when we habitually use alcohol, “sitting with” ourselves, being in our bodies without altering them, can be challenging at first. With time and intentionality, though, we can slowly reconnect to our physical being and get comfortable in our skin again.
Learning how to conduct a body scan
Take a moment to do a body scan right now. A body scan is a quick mental inventory of how your body feels from top to bottom: start at the crown of your head and work your way down to your toes. Notice where you’re holding tension, what parts feel extra buzzy, the finger that won’t stop tapping, the pressure you feel in different places. Does something feel heavier than normal, lighter than normal, agitated, numb? Practice nonjudgment as you notice these sensations - don’t assign positive or negative labels to them, just notice and move on.
This is the first step to reconnecting to our physical being - simply noticing. Taking inventory, making a note. Making no judgements about those feelings, just paying attention.
Perhaps your whole body feels tense right now, or maybe you’ve realized you’re only holding a bit of tension in your forehead. Maybe there’s an unusual pressure in your chest. These cues begin to tell us more information about our physical and emotional state, and if we learn to interpret them well, we can find better fixes for them than alcohol.