Your struggle zone: understanding your body's messages
This can be a very subtle sense to determine. You are often eating regularly, or drinking a lot. This might be because you dislike the sensation of a full bladder or hunger pangs, and so your actions are avoiding that feeling. The crazy thing about interoception is that you may not even realise that this is what you are doing or why you are doing it! It can muddle up your ability to identify feelings too which can be very challenging.
It is important to recognise your body’s basic needs – when the heart is beating too fast and you need to slow down and take bigger breaths, or when the tummy is full to stop eating, or if something hurts to take notice of it.
- Social stories and stories that help with emotions and feelings can help. Try Loggerhead Publishing for a huge range of titles.
- Planning your day in advance – what you will do, eat and drink can also help you learn to regulate what the body needs. Tom Tags are a great tool to help with this.
- A communication bangle or emotions chart (try our Chewigem Emotichew or Chewimoji) – they can be a great way to help recognise and communicate how you are feeling.
- Sand timers can help manage your time or alternatively using a timer on your phone or device.
- Hydration bottles.