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3 Ways to Overcome Anxiety with Your Interoceptive Mind

One of the biggest problems in the world is that people don't feel themselves properly. —Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, meditation master

Are you struggling with anxiety? You are not alone! Anxiety disorders are the most common problems that affect our lives. What if a scientist would tell you that your own body – your interoceptive awareness – can help you with anxiety?

A free, easy, and scientific way for treatment! Meet your interoceptive mind!

As the basis for the 'how I feel' question, the interoception comprises sensing the body's condition. Through our interoception, we sense pain, temperature, itch, muscle tension, hunger, sensual touch, stomach discomfort, intestinal stress, and many other sensations. Being aware of our internal state helps us maintain and regulate our internal body state.

For all of us, even for animals, the emotional processes are influenced by signals from the body. In other words, our bodies control and manage our feelings and emotions. So, before getting angry with somebody, yelling at your child, or being rude in your daily activities, think about the reality; YOU (your body) are responsible for your reactions, and you can manage it!

When we use the term anxiety, we refer to a group of different disorders. Some are panic disorder, chronic worrying, traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety. However, we can deal with our emotions for any type of anxiety. So, we win the game and manage our emotions when we know how to listen to ourselves, understand what we feel, and improve our interoceptive awareness. Results? A happier, healthier you and a better social life!

Before talking about the three easy ways to learn how to use your interoception against anxiety, always remember the below notes from scientific studies:

- The close relatives/family members of the people with anxiety disorders report a higher frequency of 'panic' disorders (1).

- Interoceptive sensitivity plays a vital role in the trait of anxiety (2).

- Even an acute change in serotonin levels can increase interoceptive insight (3).

- Interoceptive training increases the decision-making ability (4).

If you are ready for three essential interoception tips for anxiety - here you are!

1- Follow your breath

Breath! This world's first gift to us. Our first breath is the start button for our life, and the last breath is its end. But how many of us listen to our breath? How many of us are thankful for each breath we take?

Please do this now – give it a try. Wherever you are now, take a deep breath. Hold it until you need to release (counting to 5 can work). Now remove it slowly. Try to feel the change in the air temperature during inhalation and exhalation. You can realize how your body reacts to these sensory breathes and how your chest or belly moves with each breath. Let's do it together just a few times.

Take – hold – release…

Last two…

Last one…

We did around a thirty-second breathing exercise. What did change? Let me explain what happened during this short but one of the most effective interoception exercises.

First of all, you want to give it a try to communicate with your body and listen to it. Your brain gets a message from this communication and stimulates your vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve runs the messages between the brain and body. For example, the rhythm of breathing creates an electrical activity in our brains which enhances our emotional judgments.