InteroceptionInteroception: Feel Your Heartbeat To Feel Your Feelings!

Yes, I admit I am a fan of big words, yet this one, “interoception” is a really important one for those of us who are challenged to connect to our feelings.

To be honest, I’ve only recently heard of the word and the exciting research about it. Exciting to me, because it allows me more tools to support my individual and couple clients in connecting to themselves and to each other in an even deeper way!

If you are an athlete or in the medical field, you might have heard of  “proprioception” which is more about spatial orientation and a sense of where our bodies are externally in the world. Interoception is the internal body sense, the sensations from within the body.

These sensations include hunger, thirst, pain, temperature, heartbeat and muscle tension. WHY you might ask, are these important to feeling your feelings? Research is connecting interoception, our inner body sense, to how we process our feelings!

Low interception has been associated to eating disorders, unexplained pain symptoms, and depression.
Neuropsychologist Vivien Ainley at the University of London performed a study with subjects measuring their awareness of their own heartbeat. Those who are more aware have been shown:

“to be more intuitive, experience stronger emotional arousal, have better memory for emotional material and perhaps be better able to control their negative emotions.”

Starting to get interesting? It certainly is to me, as a big part of my work with my clients, individuals and couples, is connecting them to their bodies and by extension, to their feeling states. Science is showing that my approach IS a valid one (which I already knew, but as a recovering scientist, this makes me happy). If we can connect to and alter the perceptions of our inner sensations, we can also shift our emotional states! Now THAT is exciting!

Wouldn’t it be incredible to shift our feeling states without having to use psychotropic medication or mood alter with drugs, alcohol, food and other acting out behaviors? Would’t it be amazing to be able to be in a more loving, relaxed, resourceful state most of the time?

The research agrees with what psychologists have been saying since Freud: It’s an inside job!


Dr. Adam Sheck

If the idea of interoception, being in your body, connecting to your feelings and having a better relationship with yourself and your loved ones is important to you and you are committed to results, call me at 310-968-1526 for a complimentary, 20 minute telephone consultation to assess whether I can support you in creating this outcome. I work with clients all over the world.