A relaxed way of finding solutions

… by connecting head to feet

What happens from a holistic body perspective when you get stuck in the process of finding a solution to a problem?

What does it look like when you usually try to find a solution? Like this?

This will not only give you wrinkles, it’s also not a very efficient way of using your energy.

The way out of a problem is… to think a lot, right? Or can actual thinking also happen without the extra efforts? And might look more like this:

Solution are not only a result of thinking, but mostly we try to figure out what to do to solve it and start with thinking. And since this happens in the brain, you better support your thinking with a little frown and squinted eyes. Right?! You’re making the typical ‘I’m (trying to) think’ face. Just below, your neck and shoulders might also have become tight and tense.

YOU LOSE ENERGY BY THINKING HARD

Looking at it from a simple body perspective: you are tensing a lot of muscles in your head, neck and shoulders. Your breathing is very likely also reduced because of the tensions. Your energy level drops and your brain is not getting the oxygen that would be needed for fresh thinking. There is less energy available for coming up with fresh ideas and connecting the dots. Your energy is instead stuck in tensions, future wrinkles and could later turn into a stiff neck or a headache.

What happens to the rest of the body when you’re in your solving mode? What if connecting to your feet could change how you feel in this solution-seeking situation? What if you started thinking with your entire body? What if your antennas were so open that a new thought could happen or the realization who to ask for help?

What if re-connecting with the rest of your body could give you more energy and possibly even more clarity and feeling anchored in reality. I find that this connection to the present moment is the best basis for solutions: when your attention and energy are freely available to you.

TO THINK WITH THE BODY, YOU NEED ALL OF YOUR PHYSICAL BEING.

If you are familiar with the frowning and squinting technique to problem solving and it hasn’t delivered the promised results, how about trying this:

*** (Exercise instructions)

Take a full breath into your chest. Give your lungs space.

Feel your eyes, forehead and jaw. Let go of all efforts you notice (as much as you can). If it helps, you can make faces or move a little to relax.

Bring your attention to your physical self from your head down. How does it feel right now breathing into the chest? How are your shoulders? Do they need to move a little? Is your chest open? How do you feel your belly?

There’s no need to change anything, it’s enough to become aware of the sensations in the body. If you feel a need to move or notice movement in the body, give in to the sensations.

Then, feel your legs and the feet on the ground. Take another relaxed breath and notice all of your body.

Tada, you’ve done it. You’ve connected with yourself, head to toe. And in this state of being, you can go back and think fresh. Maybe being all of yourself, shows you what step to take next, to move out of the stuck-ness and back into the flow.

***

The magic of simply being and going with the flow of life — i.e. also finding ways to deal with challenging situations or come up with solutions– in my experience doesn’t come from creating tensions in your body and trying really hard. The magic can happen when you choose to be present in the situation and are aware of your full-body self. And when you give space to your experience, your talents and skills become available. This is what you can contribute to finding a solution: breathing, relaxing tensions, becoming aware of your physical being and the space around you.

This doesn’t even take long to connect with yourself from head to toe. It requires a moment of choosing and a moment of being before doing.

Not sure this works? Neither am I. I can’t make any promises if it works for you. It has many times worked for me. And I invite you to experiment for yourself. Curious if doing less can get you more? Give it a try.

And if you have different strategies or gained insights, feel free to share it with us. We are all bodies at work.
(Originally published on bodies-at-work.com)