Deepening Self-Care with Interoception

Deepening Self-Care with Interoception


Interoception refers to the body's internal sensory system that provides crucial information about one's internal state, encompassing sensations such as hunger, thirst, heartbeat, breathing, and other physiological processes [1]. This sensory system involves the brain's perception of the body's state, transmitted from receptors present in all internal organs [1]. Interoception plays a significant role in shaping an individual's well-being, as it is closely linked to emotional awareness, empathy, and decision-making [1].

Emotional Intelligence

The ability to recognize and identify one's emotions begins with interoception [2]. Individuals who struggle with interoception may find it challenging to self-regulate and manage their emotions, which can lead to negative consequences on health, wellness, and relationships [3].

Research and Approaches

Interoception is a relatively recent area of research, with scientists still exploring its functions and neural mechanisms [4]. Although interoception (sensing internal stimuli) and exteroception (sensing external stimuli) were once considered separate domains of sensation, more recent research indicates that they are intertwined and complementary [4].

Various approaches have been developed to help individuals enhance their interoceptive abilities, such as mindfulness-based practices and playful activities [5]. By fostering a deeper understanding of their internal signals, individuals can gain valuable insights into their emotional and physical states, which can ultimately aid in managing their emotions and improving overall well-being.

[1] "This simple test is just one way to assess your "interoception" - your brain's perception of your body's state, transmitted from receptors on all your internal organs. Interoception may be…” LINK

[2] "So, interoception, step one of being able to really be aware and identify exactly what emotion we're experiencing. And that leads to another component of emotional intelligence, and that's our ability to be able to regulate or manage our emotions." LINK

[3] "It makes it more difficult to 1) Stay in a state of homeostasis, 2) Self-Regulate, and 3) Emotional Regulation. Additionally, it negatively affects our health and wellness, impacts our sense of self, and can contribute to relationship difficulties. Interoception and Neurodivergence . Interoception issues are common among ADHD and Autistic people. LINK

[4] "The construction of all your inner sensations is called interoception and, like exteroception, it proceeds completely outside your awareness. For a long time, scientists treated interoception and exteroception as completely separate domains of sensation, bounded by your skin." LINK

[5] "Interoception-based work is a form of adapted mindfulness that is active and playful, making it better suited for a wider variety of people. And the earlier you start this work with children, the more success they'll have in developing healthy practices of how to tune into their body and emotions." LINK

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