Positive Psychology and Body-Centered Coaching

Posted by Ivonne Begue on March 29, 2023

Positive Psychology Coaching is based on science and research. It provides techniques and tools to help people flourish, embrace their strengths and values, and create positive emotions and meaning in their lives. At its core, coaching is about increasing personal and professional potential.

Coaching can allow people to develop a sense of well-being and better satisfaction in life. Coaches and clients form a partnership where the coach becomes part of the client's support team. Hopefully, through this partnership, clients realize they can achieve way more than they ever thought.

I approach my coaching practice through Body-Centered Coaching. This method invites you to use all your senses and be more aware and present in your life in the here and now. Body centered coaching helps you cultivate gut feeling and intuition as you make decisions. It is about a deeper connection with yourself to inform and guide the way you live.

This connection includes:

  • The way we move
  • The way we eat
  • The way we embrace emotions and thoughts
  • The way we relate to people and make decisions

Body-Centered Coaching is very personalized. You may find the deeper connection with yourself through many different pathways. It may be through moving in activities like yoga, tai chi, or running; through painting, writing, listening to music, or by being in nature or meditating.

Body-Centered Coaching is also about using your body as a resource to grow and enhance your well-being. Our body has a natural wisdom we can use if we listen for it. It is something we can access by observing with curiosity. This wisdom or innate intelligence has a different language from cognitive and verbal ones.

The language of our body is referred to as the "gut feeling," "still small voice," or "sixth sense." Yet, tuning out from our body, we may take it for granted and mistreat it. This can result in unhealthy nutrition, excessive exercising, insufficient rest, or being unkind and critical of our body.

A deep connection with our body takes time and practice. This inter-relationship involves an internal and external process. The internal process involves noticing body sensations, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The external process expands the inner experience into body posture and gestures.

Some external examples: smiling tells someone, "I'm friendly" or "I'm happy to see you”; good posture tells others, "I'm proud" or "I'm confident"; crossing your arms says, "I'm angry" or "I'm annoyed"; taking on a strong, confident posture makes you feel that way.

The process of embodiment connects the person as a whole: body, mind, and spirit: what you stand for, your values, passions, purpose, strengths, and talents. It connects with your BEING. And when your BEING is in balance, your DOING happens more meaningfully.

As you act meaningfully, you become more aware and conscious and work with intention, being present. Being present opens the door to your compassion, curiosity, and intuition. Being present also quiets your mind, and you become more aware of what is happening inside your mind, body, and surroundings.

"Through self-observation, more presence comes into your life automatically. The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it."

Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now: a Guide to Enlightenment

Body-Centered Coaching offers:

  • Tools to connect you with your body's intelligence
  • Mindfulness practices
  • Exercises to distinguish the storyteller from the story
  • Practices to help quiet the mind
  • Breathing techniques for grounding when you feel emotionally overwhelmed

Understanding our physical and mental reactions can break some mental and emotional distortions and perceptions that make us unhappy. Of course, we want to feel happy, but in that pursuit, many of us fall into the pleasure trap as the goal that leads us nowhere (hedonic treadmill). Science has discovered that the more we experience pleasure, the more emotionless we become about its effects, and we take it for granted.

How do we break this chain? How do we reach true happiness? Is pleasure the cause of unhappiness? All these questions are worth exploring. We can look at our perceptions differently and check how real they are. Reframing is a powerful tool for checking how clear those thoughts and emotions are. This practice can take some effort but ultimately lead to deep happiness.

My method of coaching is based on the science of psychology and mindfulness and is designed to help people thrive. I work with people in both one-on-one and group sessions. Besides helping others one of the reasons I coach is that coaching helps me to remember my own values and strengths and helps me to check if they align with my actions. I hope you join me on this journey.

Ivonne Begue

Ivonne Begue

Ivonne Begue has a Master of Science in Positive Psychology and practices Body-Centered Coaching at the Rochester Athletic Club, MN. She also teaches Hatha Yoga and Tai Chi Chih at the club. You can contact her with questions or to set up an appointment by emailing her at the link below.

Contact Ivonne Begue

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