The digital world and all of our devices have created tons of opportunities, but that sword has a double-edge.
The technology and pace of this new way of life is constantly pulling us out of our bodies and into our heads, while throwing in an endless barrage of distractions along the way.
For many guys today, life is a non-stop parade of screens, social media feeds, YouTube videos, podcasts, work, news from every corner of the planet, porn, dating apps, junk food, video games – rinse and repeat.
They’re drowning themselves in stimulation and constantly consuming things. And constant consumption eventually leads to constipation of the mind.
For ages, men have been more drawn toward the mind, logic, reason, and being in their heads. But in this new environment, we have much more stimulation and stress, and much less downtime, natural space, silence, or stillness.
Modern men are more disconnected from their bodies than ever. And if you’re not actively working to reconnect, it takes a huge toll.
Being disconnected from your body means being absorbed in what’s traditionally considered “mental activity”, which is thought and visual stimulation, and being cut off from internal sensation, emotion, and intuition.
This separation between mind and body ends up creating blocks that get in the way of experiencing more flow, growth, success, and deeper levels of intimacy.
I’m going to share with you the top seven things I personally do on a regular basis to get out of my head and drop into my body.
How Being In Your Body Will Change Your Life
When you work to reconnect with your body, you’ll start seeing some crazy benefits.
A deeper sense of presence and aliveness not only makes daily life more vibrant, but it makes you incredibly attractive to other people. They can feel your full, solid awareness settled in the here-and-now, which is incredibly magnetic (to everyone, not just the gender that you’re attracted to).
Being more connected to your senses, or more sensual, automatically makes you a better lover and leads to incredible sex.
You start moving through the world with a clear connection to your instincts and intuition, which causes you to lead a life and choose partners that are more aligned with your authentic vision and values.
You’re able to follow the genuine direction of your heart, rather than the logical blueprints that your family and society handed down to you. As you continue down this path, the results feed back into your stoke level about life and who you are.
In every way, life just gets richer, and you feel more fulfilled.
What Makes You “Heady”
Being pushed into your head is most commonly caused by three main factors:
- being stressed out, overwhelmed, and overstimulated,
- constantly consuming too much information and not giving yourself enough time to digest it all and just simply be with yourself, and/or
- your body is using an unconscious tactic to avoid confronting certain difficult emotions.
I’ll explain a little more along the way around the basic science behind this, but everything I’m about to share will help no matter what your situation is. Just know that it takes some people more work than others depending on what they’re dealing with.
(Side note: if there’s a lot of trauma in your history, and you suspect that that may be part of the reason that you don’t feel as safe being in your body, then I’d recommend seeking professional support for things like emotional catharsis. You’ll feel safer, supported, and get better results.)
Without further ado, here are my top seven ways to get out of your head and into your body.
1. Breath work
I have found no quicker way to silence your mind and supercharge your body than doing a few rounds of breath work. In as short as a minute, you can feel like you hit the reset button on your brain, or came down from a psychedelic trip, and feel completely refreshed and at peace.
There are many forms of breathing exercises out there, with various postures, durations, ideologies, and all that. But the most effective one my friends and I do is the Wim Hof Method.
There’s a boatload of controversy around the science and benefits behind it, like making your body alkaline, or fighting cancer and various diseases. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry too much about all of that stuff.
You don’t need to take any stance on why breath work works, either spiritual or scientific. Just try it and you’ll have all the proof you need. I mean, there must be a reason people have been doing it for thousands of years. The key benefit is immediate and experiential. For me, I describe it as massively grounding and resetting.
One interesting fact to note is that deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which runs between your brain and many organs, which flips the switch between the two tracks of the nervous system – the sympathetic track (arousal and survival, ie. “fight-or-flight”) and the parasympathetic track (relaxation, or “rest-and-digest.”)
When you’re stressed and overstimulated, your brain is tripped into survival mode. This makes you more calculating and hyper-vigilant; making you “heady” and reducing your ability to be present and sense your body.
But when you can relax, breathe deeply and feel safe, your system switches. Your mind softens and you can begin to feel more subtle physical sensations. This is where you can think more creatively, process emotion, and generally feel more at ease.
This is one reason why you feel so relaxed and clear after breath work, because your body has received a powerful message to de-stress and settle.
I’m not going to walk you through the whole process, because you can find great videos from Wim Hof himself – like this one – on the proper technique.
But if you want to feel more energized and wakeful, do it sitting up rather than lying down. Once you’ve gotten used to the technique (I don’t recommend this for beginners), try adding push ups at the end of your third round of breathing.
When you push all the air out and hold at the end of the cycle, do as many push-ups as you can with empty lungs, before lying down and breathing again. Always exercise caution when doing breath work too. A few of my friends have passed out at some point in the process.
2. Freestyle dancing
All my neighbours know that one of my favourite things to do is throw down to intense music in my living room.
Allowing yourself to get lost in unstructured movement is a fun and direct way to give your over active mind some much needed rest and drop down into your body.
Most guys experience tons of resistance toward this when they first try it. Their mind pushes back so strongly, worrying about looking stupid, or feeling awkward or uncomfortable, even if they’re home alone.
That’s why I love this so much. To do it, you have to completely throw away your mind. It has no place in freestyle dance. It’s completely physical and intuitive, and forces you to smash through any irrational blocks.
The more resistance you feel, the more stuck in your head you are. So, if you feel it, just remember that, and get pissed off about how strong of a hold your mind has over you. Use that anger to tell it to fuck right off, and promptly start moving like a wild beast.
There are literally no wrong ways to do this, as long as you’re not hurting anyone. Clear a safe space, turn on some music (of any genre) and let your body move to it. It could be slow, flowing and meditative, thrashing hardcore metal, deep house, or whatever your thing is in that moment.
It can take a few minutes for your mind to release the brakes and stop throwing thoughts into your head, like wondering how you look, or why you’re doing it. Soon enough, you’ll get into a flow state and completely lose yourself.
Another thing I love most is the freedom and playfulness I’m left feeling every single time I do this. It makes my moods higher, my thinking clearer, my feelings of love even stronger, and generally stokes my creative fire.
The benefits are surprising. You just have to be courageous and free enough to start before you can get to the other side.
3. Trauma release exercises (T.R.E.)
Trauma Release Exercises are a system of therapeutic movements that release chronic muscular tension related to stress and trauma. These movements gently activate a shaking and vibrating response in targeted muscle groups, which calms the nervous system and promotes balance in your body.
It might look gentle (which it is) but this technique is used by NAVY Seals and combat veterans, not just yoga teachers, so don’t let the first impression fool you. This shit is powerful.
T.R.E. can help to release the stuff that builds up in your body and flies under your radar. Bodily tension could have roots in traumatic experiences from years ago, or just the stress of daily life.
After you endure a traumatic experience, the nervous system sometimes has trouble switching tracks and returning to a fully relaxed state, and stays stuck in a state of arousal (or “survival mode”).
This is where chronic muscle tension can go unreleased, and even stay hardened as a protective mechanism against emotions and the outside world.
On top of this, your body’s stress response is being triggered in minor ways throughout your day. Because there’s only a tiny fraction of data that makes it into our conscious awareness every second, they don’t make it onto your radar.
Doing T.R.E. exercises can help release this all of this tension that’s keeping you in your head, and get you more in touch with your body.
I’ll walk you through the position that I engage in the most.
Lie on your back, with your arms outstretched. Next, bend your legs so that they make a ninety degree angle, and then bring your feet together.
Now, slowly let your knees fall to either side of your body (left knee slowly falling to the left, right knee falling to the right), and even more slowly begin to bring them back toward centre. At a certain point, you’ll start to induce a strong tremoring response in your core and pelvis. Don’t rush through it. In fact, hang out in this tremor zone and let your body shake out as much tension that it can access. If your body is able to tremor for 20, 30, or more minutes, that”s great. Let it all flow through you.
Since old muscle tension can release trapped emotion, I wouldn’t recommend rushing into anything after this. Instead, try journalling and see what comes up, or make yourself a meal.
4. Induce crying
Releasing old sadness is deeply cathartic. When it’s not processed, this type of low-grade emotional pain accumulates and runs in the background. If you’re uncomfortable with it, or out of touch, your mind will actively want to avoid feeling your body so it doesn’t have to get into it.
These kinds of emotional blocks can lead to stagnation in life, depression, addiction, and prevent you from growing through the lessons our feelings provide.
By leaning into these emotions intentionally, you can clear out the charge and open up the path between the mind and body, making it easier to get in touch with all parts of yourself, and not feel so stuck in your head.
It’s tough to just sit down and force yourself to feel old emotion. Most people need a little push from the outside.
One of the best ways I’ve found to release old sadness is listening to gorgeous, dramatic, or sad music, either while laying down and visualizing, or journaling. Journaling helps to get past the limiting filters of the conscious mind and push deeper to excavate what’s really happening at deeper levels.
Try free-writing about what’s been weighing on your mind recently. As you crack through to connect with the latent pressure that’s building up beneath the surface, it can cause a release to happen. You might also connect with some limiting patterns you’re seeing that have been stirring frustration, struggle, and sadness, and get more in touch with the emotions surrounding them.
If I’m lying down, I’ll either scan my body for blocks and sensations, and try to expand them, or I’ll intentionally imagine things that make me sad, like thinking of the people that I know who have died, or imagining what it would be like to lose the people that I am closest to who are still alive.
It might sound morbid and weird to some people, but picturing the tragic death of people you love is actually an incredibly healthy meditation. It brings a sense of presence and gratitude to both their life and yours, and makes you appreciate them more.
It also happens to be a great vehicle to release trapped sadness that might not otherwise have another way to be expressed. If it feels safe, try this:
Imagine getting a call from someone breaking the news that a person you loved died in a car accident. Really feel into the void their passing would leave behind. Imagine what it’s like to know you’ll never again feel the warmth of their presence, or loving embrace. Imagine the last interaction you had, and what you wish you could have done differently. Imagine being at their celebration of life, with all of their loved ones. What would you say? How would you remember them?
This one breaks me down every time. To end it on a good note, reach out to that person afterward and express your love and gratitude for them. You don’t have to share about the process, you can just say that your love for them was on your mind and you wanted to hear their voice.
5. Anger work
Since you’re already on the catharsis train, let’s keep it rolling! The more you can do, the more embodied you’ll get. I’ve found that to be one thousand percent true for me and hundreds of other men.
Just like sadness, built-up anger going unexpressed can also wreak havoc in your life. But it’s also more culturally forbidden to express anger around other people than sadness.
Releasing sadness can bring about a profound sense of calm and relief. The same goes for anger, but it also has an added effect of being more energetically bolstering and empowering.
Most men have learned to cut themselves off from anger because they were taught it was dangerous, unproductive, and probably got them into trouble. They were made to believe it was a “toxic” part of masculinity. But trying to repress it just creates a whole other set of problems.
When anger is integrated and expressed properly, it creates a sense of inner and outer strength. On an energetic and very real level, you know who you are and you can’t be fucked with. You’re more connected to your voice, and can speak up for yourself, as well as others, when you experience something you know isn’t right.
Doing anger work means intentionally blasting open the dam and releasing this energy, while reclaiming some to build yourself up. Stick with it and soon you’ll walk around feeling like a Spartan warrior.
It’s not about projecting your anger out into the world all the time like an idiot (which is an irresponsible use of anger). It’s about privately doing the work, so when you’re in the world the power of it silently fills your body like wind in a sail.
Like freestyle dance, you have to let go of your mind and really lean into this one. Especially because of the deeper blocks you might have to feeling this particular emotion.
The two simplest ways to do this are vocally and physically, using things you can find in your bedroom.
Vocally, screaming into a pillow purges all the stuck energy from the moments you didn’t, or couldn’t, speak up. I’m not talking about just last week. It’s common for people to experience flashbacks to moments of anger from their childhood, which is probably the last time they really allowed themselves to release like this (that is to say, in a way that was completely total).
Sit on the edge of your bed, or a chair, with a pillow in your lap. Essentially, what you’re about to do is yell “FUCK YOU!” ten times into it (when you’re home alone, unless you have housemates who already know what you’re up to. Side note: don’t do this practice in front of young children or pets, since they do not have the ability to understand your process and may feel threatened or scared).
But first, it really helps to build up some energy to push into this with. Begin by closing your eyes and summoning every single thought you possibly can around what, or who, is making you angry right now. It could be about the world, a life circumstance, or a specific person. It can be decades old, or from breakfast this morning.
After 20-30 seconds of visualizing, firmly press the pillow against your mouth, with all your strength, and unleash a giant “Fuck You” ten times in a row. You should really feel your body punching this out. If other words come to mind, or just raw screaming, that’s perfectly fine too.
When you finish a round, sit up, relax, and breathe deeply into your belly. Notice the feelings swirling around your body. Anger work tends to circulate a lot of stored/repressed energy. I recommend doing a maximum of 3 rounds of this (you don’t want to blow out your voice completely), and journaling whenever your finish.
Physically, you can just go ape-shit on your pillows or mattress, punching them or slamming your fists down hammer-style like Donkey Kong. Losing yourself in the emotion and giving it your all, even if you only lean into it for 30-60 seconds.
6. Play a sport with friends
It’s the simplest things that often bring the greatest benefits. Getting active and playing a sport with friends is an amazing way to compound physical and social benefits into something that’s highly therapeutic and fulfilling.
When you’re engaged in the right sport, you enter a flow state and use your whole body to intuitively maneuver to achieve a goal (literally) or problem solve. In some, like soccer or football, you’re also rapidly flipping between states of offence and defence, which stokes the rush and excitement of competition, pulling you even harder into feeling flow and fun.
Socializing is also a primary way that humans regulate their nervous systems. Eye contact, conversation, physical touch, and mere presence are all hugely therapeutic. Connecting with others makes us feel safe, in a state of ease and part of the tribe.
All that aside, you just get to put all your devices, phones, and everything in the “cloud” away for a few hours, and actually immerse yourself in three-dimensional time and space, using your physical body to engage with other physical bodies.
Pick your favourite sport and pick a specific day and time each week where you and some friends will get together to play. Once you start, everyone will start looking forward to it and never miss a session. And one is better than none. Even if it’s just another person to kick around a soccer ball, shoot some hoops, or throw a frisbee, it’s still highly beneficial.
If you don’t have enough people to play with, check drop-in times at community centres, or join a recreation sports league. They’re awesome ways to meet new people and get your physical fix.
7. Go to the gym
I’ve been in the gym several days a week this whole year and the benefits have been insane. I not only feel more beefy and strong than ever, but my mental energy, clarity and sex life are all even better than they’ve been before. Once I stuck with it long enough to gain momentum and saw these results, it made me want to go even harder.
Using and pushing your body brings you into a complete state of flow. There’s nowhere else your mind can be but focusing on getting you through the reps. And the soreness for the days following are a constant reminder that you still have a body, and you’ve been working it out.
All the chemical/hormonal benefits aside, like increasing testosterone, and spiking endorphins and dopamine, which change your personality and sex life, the immediate practice of using your physical body from head to toe, and taking a break from your mind, generates enough value to make it worthwhile. The rest is an insane bonus.
You might not have the grit and discipline up front to push past your resistance and get the benefits of exercise, and that’s okay. There’s a reason why trainers and gym buddies exist.
If you can’t hold yourself accountable (which is most of us), commit to a series of 10-12 sessions with a trainer to get yourself started. They’ll train you to push the limits of your comfort zone and what you think your body is capable of.
These are the most powerful tools for embodiment I’ve found so far. But they require regular use, because the current of modern life will always push you back into your head. Your system requires weekly (and even daily) maintenance.
Some of these things require courage. It might be weird for you to release stuck emotions, or dance, or try breath work. But the unknown is where the most transformation is.
I promise, if you keep at a few of the seven of these things, your life and the way you feel in your body will be better than you’ve ever than ever. If you consistently try them all, and don’t experience a big shift within a couple of months, well, keep going… because the eventual shift is inevitable.
Dedicated to your success,
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