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Move With Deb the Podcast


Nov 13, 2021

Ok y'all. I know you love to listen to me talk about my mindbody practice but like I could just be doing it and keeping it to myself. This podcast is for you to begin to make connections and learn to practice and apply these skills in your life. 

So I created a short snack sized skills podcast version of the Somatic Smile activity for you to take with you and practice. I'm going to get into this in next week's podcast but hey be willing to fail or not be good at this. Failing creates focus which primes us for learning. :) 

[00:00:00] Welcome to Move With Deb. I'm Deb your friendly neuroplastician. And this is a podcast that explores the relationship between the body and the mind from a health at every size, judgment, free perspective. I teach you how developing a new internal conversation based on curiosity, self friendship and simple neuro-plasticity techniques can rewire your bodymind out of pain and emotional overwhelm to help you build the rich full life that you want to live. Disclaimer, this is not a replacement for medical care. 

[00:00:50] Hi, and welcome to Move With Deb the podcast. This is episode 36. And I wanted to just share with you the small discreet example of a somatic smile. So this is a bit of a repeat. But it's the description of a somatic smile without all of the meta description, so that you can use this to practice with. 

[00:01:17] When I am having intense negative sensations in my body, I often like to place what I call a somatic smile. The smile actually relates to our polyvagal nerve and it is the way that we teach our body, that we're feeling okay. So we want it to be a real smile, not like a fake smile. You know what a fake smile feels like, a fake smile feels kind of terrible, right?

[00:01:47] There's like one thing happening in your face, but there's something else happening on the inside. of you. We want a real smile. It could even just be the willingness to try smile, right? Just the practice of smile, creating a little warmth, a little lightness inside of us. So, because I am well practiced at this, it's easy for me. It's not necessarily going to be easy for you when you first start that's okay. That's just learning. 

[00:02:22] But the idea of a somatic smile is so cool. So in a body part that is feeling some unpleasant sensations. I will often place what I call a somatic smile. Which means I literally smile. And then I imagine that smile, those sensations of warmth connection, self love to be like placed in that body part.

[00:02:49] I just meet it with the smile. The smile is me creating love for me, with me, all the mes. I often do this when I'm moving. If I'm walking and I find something that feels uncomfortable. Normally what happens is then I feel an arousal of fear. A little fear comes in. A little worry, comes in. My brain starts to offer me ideas about what's happening inside of my body. And I'd just like to say, thank you. And then I send a somatic smile to that part. And I just say that we're safe, that there's nothing wrong with my body. This is just a sensation of fear.

[00:03:32] And then just keep smiling, practicing. And I keep walking. I do the activity. I invite in a sense of ease and peace while I am doing the activity, while I'm walking. The work is to create a corrective experience for our brain when we are experiencing the unpleasant sensation. 

[00:03:53] So yes, we can relax and do all of these things ahead of time. We can create some visualizations, but when the rubber meets the road, when we're actually doing it, that's when we need to have that conversation about safety with our nervous system. I invite you to practice, to meet yourself with grace and love, curiosity, and friendship while practicing. 

[00:04:17] That's how you will one, want to do it more often, growing the experience of love, connection, self friendship, curiosity, and unwiring hypersensitivity, hyper-reactivity fear and pain. We're wiring towards something, which means that we're automatically wiring away. If there's something that we want to experience less, we have to wire towards something we want to experience more.

[00:04:49] Thank you for listening to this. I hope it's been helpful. Just keep practicing. I'm Deb, you can follow me on Instagram @movewithdeb where I'm hoping to share more tips, tricks, and tools on how to wire your brain away from pain and towards safety.