Most of the activities in our toolkit aim to regulate stress in the body through movement and the senses. This is called “bottom-up” because it starts in the body. You can make the most of them by paying attention to any changes that happen and taking time to notice what they feel like. This is called “top-down” because you are intentionally using your mind to pay attention to what’s going on inside your body. This makes the effect of the activities more intense, and helps it last longer.
As you do the activities, you can train your awareness for your body’s ability to regulate stress by asking yourself these questions:
How am I breathing?
Do my muscles feel tense or relaxed?
How is my heart beating, fast or slow?
If there are any changes, are they pleasant, neutral or unpleasant?
Just like an itch becomes itchier when you pay more attention to it, you can make pleasant or neutral sensations stronger by focusing your attention on them. Ask yourself:
Where do I notice a change in my body?
What does it feel like? Try to find words to describe what you notice.
As you try to find answers to these questions, focus your attention on any changes that are pleasant, neutral, or less unpleasant.
Train your bottom-up / top-down awareness with CORESZON
Research has shown that targeted practice can reduce stress and anxiety. Our goal is to share tools that help people cope with stress before it takes a toll on their physical and mental wellbeing. To do this, CORESZON trainers create engaging, interactive experiences that center on an often-overlooked but very important question when it comes to mental health:
What does wellbeing feel like?
In our science-backed group workshops, people don’t just learn how to use the body’s natural ability to regulate stress. By practicing together, they become more aware of what wellbeing feels like themselves, and and what it looks and sounds like in others. This skill is essential to fulfilling social connections, one of the most powerful protective factors for mental wellbeing across the lifespan.